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Mushrooms and Truffles, Questions and Answers To Help

Common questions and facts about mushrooms, truffles, and other fungi.

Slofoodgroup morel mushrooms are sourced from various mushroom regions of the world depending on the time of the year, crop availability, pricing, etc. This is including but not limited to the United States, Argentina, India, Turkey, and more.

Currently, most of our morels come from Turkey, as we find these wild morels to be of the best quality, rehydrate well, and retain the nice meaty texture that morels are known for. The majority of Turkish morel mushrooms end up in fine dining European kitchens, so we are grateful to have these delectable morsels to offer our customers.

The jury is out on this question, with significant amounts of supporters for both sides. While some users may claim that washing your mushrooms removes the natural flavors and profile of the mushroom, the best practice for sanitary purposes is to rinse and wash before use.

Mushrooms are a wild product that come from the ground. Our recommendation for users that may be concerned is to lightly salt water and allowing your morel mushrooms to soak for a short period of time.

Our porcini are directly sourced from Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Morel mushrooms are primarily a wild fungus that typically only fruits seasonally. Morels, unlike many other mushrooms and fungi, are extremely tough (though not impossible) to cultivate.

Another factor that contributes to the high price of morel mushrooms is that they are tricky to forage. They are tough to spot, which is why many foragers keep their secret spots under lock and key.

If successful foraging takes place, the harvest will not stay fresh for long. Morels are a perishable product and will start to deteriorate in quality soon after picked. The pickers have just a short time to get them to market or preserve them.

Fortunately, morels dry well without losing the textural and flavor properties that morels are known for. That means, you can get dehydrated morels to add to your recipes year-round!

When dehydrated immediately after harvesting, most mushroom varieties will retain their flavor in a concentrated form. That flavor will be partially released in rehydration liquid, but can be used to further incorporate mushroom flavor into sauces, soups, braises, and the like.

In most cases, the reason you would want to choose fresh over dehydrated versions of mushrooms, it's for aesthetic and/or textural purposes. That said there are many mushrooms that "bounce back" after they are rehydrated.

Black trumpet mushrooms are also known as the horn of plenty, black chanterelles, the trumpet of death, and many other aliases. They are only found in the wild, and despite their intimidating references, they are a safe mushroom to eat.

Black trumpets are closely related to chanterelles but have a much stronger and distinctive flavor. They are often considered to be "the poor man's truffle" because they do have a similar flavor profile, though not nearly as potent. They are earthy and somewhat sweet with a slight tang.

Black mushrooms are delicious but when used in excess, they can turn a dish bitter, so unless that is your goal, don't go overboard with these wild treats!

Black trumpet mushrooms are sometimes referred to as black chanterelles and are often found in the same areas as many varieties of chanterelles like golden and yellowfoot.

Black trumpets are not true chanterelles but are in the same family as all chanterelles, Cantharellaceae. Their genus is different, however, falling in the genera of Craterellus.

True chanterelles (like the golden) are in the Cantharellus genus. There are other mushrooms that include "chanterelle" in their common name but do not fall within the same genera, such as violet chanterelles (Gomphus genus) and blue chanterelles (Polyozellus genus)

The uses for dried morels are endless. Chefs and home cooks often rehydrate them to make risooto and pasta dishes or they will sauté them in butter and serve atop fish or steak. They are fantastic in gravies, cream sauces, soups, and stews. They even make a great meat alternative for vegan or vegetarian meals. Not sure what to make with your dried morels? Check out all of our dried mushroom recipes here.

To rehydrate dried morels, simply submerge them in liquid for about 30 minutes. Once they have been reconstituted, remove them from the liquid and use as you see fit. Don't through out the rehydration liquid, though! It will have been infused with a deep mushroom flavor that is perfect for adding to soups, stocks, sauces, and more. Here's a great guid to get you started with using all types of dried mushrooms.

Dried morels are dehydrated from their raw state and, just like their fresh counterpart, they should be cooked before consumption. Raw morels can lead to stomach ailments if consumed raw.

Dried porcinis pack a big umami punch. They area earthy, woody, and delicious, and can deepen the flavor of many varieties of dishes.

Dried porcinis, like other varieties of dried, wild mushrooms are foraged from wild habitats. It is up to you whether you want to wash them prior to rehydrating, but if you opt to do so, you could just soak them in a lightly salted water for about 10-20 minutes. Keep in mind that if you do this, the mushrooms will begin the rehydration process. This step is fully optional.

Whether or not you have soaked your mushrooms in salt water to clean, you will likely need to continue by fully reconstituting your mushrooms. In total, this should take about 30 minutes. Simply submerge them in the liquid of your choice (stock, water, cream).

Once reconstituted, you can cook with your dried procinis as you would their fresh counterpart. Sauté them in oil or butter, throw them in stews, roast them. The options are endless.

Check out this post for guidance on cooking with dried mushrooms.

Rehydrating dried mushrooms is simple. Just submerge them in water (or another liquid as you desire) for about 30 minutes. Remove them from the liquid and use as you would fresh mushrooms.

Pro tip: don't throw out your rehydration liquid. Use it in place of stock in any dish to add an extra layer of umami.

In most cases, we do recommend rehydrating your mushrooms (especially if replacing fresh in a recipe), but there are many instances in which you can use them without reconstituting them. If they are being added to soup or stew and the recipe doesn't call for sautéing first (and they are in the cook pot for around 30 minutes or more), they will perk up in the pot. Another way to use dried mushrooms without rehydrating is to grind them and use them in a seasoning blend like we have done with this morel encrusted leg of lamb recipe and this umami seasoning salt.

Porcinis, whether dried or fresh, have a deep umami flavor with further profile elements of earthiness, woodiness, nuttiness. In dried porcinis, that flavor has been concentrated and will be infused into the dishes they are added to.

Most commercial morels are wild-sourced. This is because, although morels can be cultivated, it is incredibly difficult to do so. Because these mushrooms are so particular of conditions, the risk-to-reward for cultivation is a gamble at best.

Yes, porcini and king boletes are the same mushroom. Its taxonomic name is Boletus edulis and they are also commonly referred to as penny buns.

Porcini mushrooms are incredibly difficult to cultivate. As such, they are almost exclusively sourced from the wild.

Mushrooms are notorious for containing vitamin D, a vitamin that is naturally found in few food sources. Beyond that, many mushroom varieties have been studied and found to have a long list of nutritional benefits. Mushrooms have a long history of being used medicinally and are garnering more attention in recent years, being incorporated into the general health routines of many folks by way of mushroom-enhanced culinary delights, mushroom "coffees", mushroom tinctures, mushroom capsules, and more.

In France, black trumpet mushrooms are often referred to as trompette de la mort and in Italian, the trombetta dei morti, both of which translate to the "trumpet of death". This alias is owed to appearance, not toxicity. Many black trumpet mushrooms do resemble a horn, which is why they are called "trumpets" and their dark grey to black color contributed to the association with "death".

Don't worry, black trumpet mushrooms are safe for consumption (and delicious).

Black trumpet mushrooms are earthy, smokey, and woody, with hints of sweetness and a rustic umami undertone.

Yes. Black trumpet mushrooms are known by many names. One of those names is the horn of plenty mushroom. Other names are the black trumpet of death, the devils horn, poor man's truffle, and black chanterelle. Black trumpet mushrooms fall in the taxonomic classifications of Craterellus cornucopioides and Craterellus fallax.

In most instances, you will need to rehydrate your dried black trumpet mushrooms by immersing them in liquid for 20-30 minutes, but they can be used dried in some cases (if they will be cooked in liquid or ground to use as a seasoning). Once rehydrated, use your black trumpet mushrooms as you would a fresh mushroom.

Dried black trumpet mushrooms are a great addition to many types of recipes. We especially love them in rice and pasta dishes, but they are also great in soups, sauces, and on pizza.

Here are some suggestions for using dried black trumpet mushrooms in your cooking and an incredible recipe round-up (including the most delicious mushroom pâté.

Yes, despite its intimidating nomenclature, the trumpet of death or black trumpet mushroom is edible.

Yes. Truffles are mushrooms. Unlike most other varieties of mushroom, however, truffles fruit underground. Because they do not fruit above ground, many people falsely believe that they are not mushrooms.

No, truffle is not a root vegetable. In fact, taxonomically speaking, it isn't a vegetable at all. It is a fungus—specifically, a mushroom and the part we eat is the fruiting body, not a root (fungi don't have roots, they have mycelium made up of fungal strings, or hyphae).

You may have been led to believe all mushrooms are vegetables because they are included in the vegetable food group by the Food & Drug Administration, due to their nutritional components.

The popularity of truffles is partially owed to its incomparable flavor. There are truffle imitations, but they rarely come close to capturing the unique elements of true, fresh truffles.

Ask 10 different truffle enthusiasts to describe their flavor and you will likely get 10 different answers with a wide range of descriptors.

Most truffles will contain some degree of earthiness, mustiness, umami, and sweetness. One thing everyone will agree on is that the flavor of a fresh truffle is potent.

Further complicating the challenge of describing the flavor of truffles is the fact that there are multiple species of truffles and they all possess different flavor components.

Check out this article for an in-depth discussion on the flavor of truffles.

White truffles are typically more expensive than black truffles because they can not be cultivated. The prized alba white truffles are also rarely found outside of a small area of Italy and Southern France. Learn more about the factors that influence the exorbitant price of white truffles here.

Black truffles, on the other hand, can be found in the wild and have been successfully cultivated.

Check out this article to learn more about the differences between black and white truffles.

When it comes to using pigs to find truffles, only the sows are used. This is because the boar produces a hormonal scent in its saliva that resembles the aroma of the truffle. The female pigs will seek this scent and are often successful because they have an excellent sense of smell.

The problem with using pigs for truffle hunting is that when they find a truffle, they want to eat it. They will often have already partially dug it up and started chomping on it before the human forager gets to them. Dogs, on the other hand, can be trained to find the truffles and "point" the spot out to their humans or sit patiently by the spot until they arrive. For this reason, pigs are rarely used to find truffles in this day and age.

Truffles are a type of mushroom. Unlike most varieties of mushroom, truffles fruiting bodies are found under the soil.

There are many types of truffles, so referring to them as simply, "summer" or "winter" can lead to a lot of confusion as flavor profiles, price, color, and more. That being the case, the only absolute difference between the two is the season in which they are harvested. Summer truffles are typically harvested in late spring and summer winter truffles are primarily harvested in the late fall to winter months.

For a more in-depth explanation of the differences between summer and winter truffles, including the species that fall into each category, check out this article.

When most people mention white truffles, they are referring to the Alba white truffle, or Tuber magnatum. These truffles fetch a high price tag largely, in part, due to their seasonality, small area in which they are found, and the fact that there has been no success in cultivating them. 'that being the case, they are much more rare than other truffles on the market.

These reasons have positioned the Abla wihte truffle to be the rarest and most highly-sought-after truffle in the culinary world.