Mushrooms are available in a huge variety of sizes, shapes, and colors and can range from smooth and silky to pitted and honeycomb-like. Cultivated white mushrooms, the most commonly found type in the produce department, are mild in flavor and go well in dishes from pastas to soups to stir-fries. However, for more exotic and intense flavors, choose from the myriad of wild mushrooms including chanterelle, morel, shiitake, portobello, and oyster. Choose mushrooms that are firm, free of blemishes, and have tightly closed brown "gills" underneath their caps. Clean mushrooms by wiping with a damp cloth. Do not soak in water. Store mushrooms in a single layer, covered with a paper towel or cloth in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
For other mushroom varieties, see button, chanterelle, Chinese black, cremini, cultivated, oyster, porcini, portobello, shiitake, and tree ear mushrooms, and truffles.