The Essential Guide to Wild Foods: Six Impressive Wild Oyster Mushroom Types
Wild Oyster mushrooms can be found worldwide and at any time of the year, although their main growing season is from March to October.
These incredible wild fungi differ in taste, color, shape, and size. Besides being considered a delicacy, these wild mushrooms are known for their health benefits and environmental importance as a natural de-composer to some forms of pollution.
Take a dive into this complete guide on oyster mushrooms, their different types, and their benefits. Learn and feel confident enough to identify them, and learn how you can get the best types delivered directly to your door.
Six Impressive Wild Oyster Mushrooms
There are more than two hundred types of oyster mushrooms globally, which are scientifically known as Pleurotus Clade. At Foraged, we want to introduce you to the main six types of Pleurotus:
Pink Oyster (Pleurotus Djamor)
This vibrant pink fungus is native to the tropics. Its color makes it distinctive wherever it grows, and warmer temperatures are the pink oyster’s favorite place to grow rapidly. Its flavor is similar to other clades; however, the Pink Oyster stands out for its strong, woody smell.
Once cooked, its peculiar color will fade, but this doesn’t mean its taste will diminish. Due to its health benefits as a low-fat source of protein and antioxidants, and antibacterial properties, pink oysters are often used as an excellent substitute for seafood.
Golden Oyster (Pleurotus Citrinopileatus)
Golden Oysters have a very watermelon-like distinctive fragrance. They are mostly found in the North American woods where warmer temperatures predominate, and are usually available from April to September. These unique species actually started growing in captivity here in the US and eventually escaped, spreading rapidly throughout much of the United States in a very short period of time.
Golden Oysters can be cooked braised, in soups, or fried, and taste like roasted cashews when sauteed in oil. These yellowish fungi are high in good stuff and low in bad stuff: as all Pleurotus, they are high in protein, and low in cholesterol. They are good sources of vitamin B2, B3, and B5, as well as potassium.
Pearl Oyster (Pleurotus Ostreatus)
The Pearl Oyster is considered the most popular oyster mushroom in North America since it grows in abundance in the woods of the USA and usually fruits within 4 to 6 months. It’s really easy to grow and an excellent option for a variety of dishes as a gourmet mushroom.
Its taste is woody with a slight pinch of sweetness, and the pearl oyster has a beautiful gray color. This particular mushroom is available all year round wherever the weather is conducive.
Blue Oyster (Pleurotus Columbinus)
These mushrooms bloom with a peculiar blue cap and turn gray once they are fully grown. Blue Oysters are primarily used in Asian cuisines or stews because they keep their peculiar shape even when cooked.
Due to their highly beneficial components, in addition to their chewy texture, they are considered a good meat substitute.
Phoenix Oyster (Pleurotus Pulmonarius)
This mushroom is substantially similar to the Pearl Oyster, even though it has smaller caps, paler colors and grows taller. As well as the Golden and Pink Pleurotus, the Phoenix prefers warmer temperatures. Mostly found in the southern part of the US, they are available all year round with a peak season in the summer.
It has a peculiar aroma that is quite similar to that of seafood. Its texture is velvety and tender with a mild sweet flavor. Like all of its oyster mushroom cousins, Phoenix oysters are good sources of vitamins and proteins.
King Oyster (Pleurotus eryngii)
Welcome to wonderland! This oyster is true to its name. It’s large, with caps and thick stems. This particular mushroom grows in environments with lots of carbon dioxide which gives it its unique shape. King oysters tend to grow individually and are great for cooking since they have a soft and crunchy texture.
Eryngii provides a good source of protein, making it a good addition to vegan or vegetarian diets, and has been compared with the texture and appearance of scallops if properly prepared. It is also considered a low-carb food that is packed with excellent nutrients such as vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Chaga tinctures offer Chaga as an extract. You can take Chaga tincture drops directly under your tongue or add them to a beverage of your choice.
How do you identify Oyster Mushrooms?
It may take some practice and repetition to identify the differences between some of the Oyster mushrooms, but don’t worry! We are here to help and guide you through. Let’s find one:
- Make sure to check on the characteristics of the cap. It usually measures between 3-8 inches across. Its flesh is white and the color on top may vary from white to brownish.
- Look for their white gills.
- Oyster mushrooms generally don’t have stems. Some varieties have a stem but must be short and stocky. Also, they don’t present any rim around the stem.
- Oyster mushrooms grow only on dead organisms (it’s crazy, we know), so if you notice some similar mushroom on a living organism, you should probably leave it alone.