Melbourne's #1 Food Market

Mushroom Guide

Your very own mushroom guide

With wild and unusual mushrooms now ‘popping up’ in Harvest Hall, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into the fungi family and find out what’s what with our very own mushroom guide!  Damian Pike, our mushroom man, gave us the low down on some of the mushroom varieties available at the Market, and the best way to use them.



Beech mushrooms are small in size and grow in clusters. They are crunchy in texture and have a sweet nuttiness when cooked but they do taste bitter if eaten raw.

Black Trumpet

With wavy, almost floral, dark brown caps, black trumpets have a rich, smoky flavour and a similar taste to the black truffle when dried.


Button mushrooms are the most common variety and are available all year round. As they are harvested when they are young, they have a mild flavour and can be eaten cooked or raw. They are great on pizza! These ones you all know, but we thought we’d put them in our mushroom guide regardless!


Delicate and almost floral looking, Chantarelles are usually golden in colour. With a gentle flavour and texture, they are very versatile and can be used in anything you would use mushrooms, such as risotto or quiche.


Chestnut mushrooms are tan in colour, have a firm texture and a strong nutty flavour. They hold their shape when cooked and are very versatile. Try them in salads, pasta dishes, sauces, quiches, casseroles, soups and omelettes.

Cremini (Swiss Brown)

Similar in shape to white button mushrooms, Creminis can be slightly bigger in size, are a light brown and have a deeper flavour. They are great sautéed and added to soups or as a filling in omelettes.


With long stems and small caps, enoki mushrooms are crisp in texture. They are commonly used in Asian dishes and are great in soups but also try them raw in salads or sandwiches.

Golden Enoki

These are a smaller version of Enoki mushrooms and are golden in colour. They are crunchy and almost fruity in flavour and are ideal for summer salads.


Hedgehog mushrooms are sweet in smell and taste (although this depends on when they’ve been harvested;  younger are sweeter, the more mature are bitter.). They are crunchy, nutty and meaty – similar to Chanterelles .


These mushrooms are sourced from Japan and sold dried in Australia. They almost look like a head of cabbage from afar with their overlapping caps. They have an earthy and gamey flavour. Perfect in Asian soups.


With their fascinating, honeycomb-like texture, morels are really delicious with a very savoury, rich and nutty flavour. They taste great sautéed with butter and added to your favourite steak and also in omelettes. Due to their crevices, they do need careful cleaning before use.


Nameko mushrooms grow in clumps. They have a bright yellow to orange cap and a white stem. They have a unique, earthy flavour and smell similar to cashews. They are great with seafood.


These mushrooms have a delicate and sweet flavour and are simple to prepare. Best sautéed in olive oil or butter but they are also great to eat raw in salads.


Pine mushrooms have a saffron coloured cap and a firm texture. They have a full, roasted nut flavour and are perfect with seafood, eggs and lighter styles of meat.


Porcinis are popular in Italian and French cuisine and are similar to Portobello mushrooms with their meaty texture. Available in a wide scope of sizes – from 2.5-25cm. They are slightly nutty and creamy in flavour and can be bought fresh, dried and canned. If you are using dried, ensure you soak them in hot water for at least 15 minutes before cooking with them. (tip: keep the water they’ve been soaking in and use as a stock!).


These mushrooms have a meaty texture and are great as a meat substitute, often seen in veggie burgers. They are actually the most mature stage of the Button mushroom, with the cap fully grown. They are fantastic grilled – try marinating in olive oil and balsamic vinegar first!


These mushrooms are meaty and savoury and the caps are perfect to enhance soups and sauces, as well as to top meat dishes. Although the stems are too tough to eat, they are great to flavour stocks and sauces before discarding. As they are mainly grown in Japan, China and Korea they are abundant in Asian cuisine.


Shimeji has a smaller cap and a bitter taste until cooked. When cooked, they have a slightly nutty flavour and are firm in texture. They are great with lighter meats and seafood but can also be used in soups and stews.

Slippery Jacks

Slippery Jacks have a smooth cap and are slimy to the touch; even when they are dry they appear glossy.  But don’t be put off by their rather off-putting look and feel. They are great with pasta or risotto but also yum in soups, stews and stir-fried dishes.

Wood Blewit

Wood Blewit mushrooms are available in winter and have a beautiful lilac hue. Eaten cooked, they are great for stews, cream sauces and omelettes. As they have quite a strong flavour, they also work well with leeks or onions.


Many varieties of mushrooms are seasonal but there is usually a great substitute if your favourite is not available. Speak to Damian for advice on which mushroom to choose and for recipe ideas. If you’ve got any more you’d like us to add to our mushroom guide, send us an email at

recommended articles