It’s true that there are quite a few people out there who don’t appreciate mushroom for their pizza (or for any dish for that matter). It’s always a problem when you order a pizza at a substandard pizza parlor, as the mushroom might come out burnt or slimy. And even if you get your pizza at a Papa John’s, you simply might not like the savory and earthy flavor of the mushroom.
But the truth is that it’s still one of the most popular pizza toppings around. Lots of folks like the chewy texture and the meaty taste. And it combines well with the sauces as well.
Of course, it does matter what kind of mushroom you have on your pizza. Here’s a look at the more common types of mushroom you might encounter on top of your pizza:
There was a point back in the 1990s when very few people in the US knew what shiitake mushrooms were. Now they’re very popular in the country, with lots of restaurants specifying that they’re serving shiitake mushrooms. In fact, it has become globally famous.
Unlike other mushrooms that are so bland that they don’t seem to have any taste at all, shiitake mushrooms have this distinct combination of tasty, buttery, and meaty qualities that’s just hard to ignore. In fact, most pizzas with shiitake mushrooms don’t really have too many ingredients. They’re simple enough so that you can appreciate the mushroom without too many distractions.
One basic pizza is to simply match the shiitake mushroom with some garlic sauce. It might be too basic, but it’s also very tasty.
This is a large, meaty type of mushroom with a dense texture and a rich and savory flavor. It’s so meaty that it works as a meat substitute for lots of sandwiches and burgers. Vegetarians love these portobello mushrooms as they’re virtually as good and tasty as meat, and they can enjoy the mushrooms broiled or grilled.
Even meat eaters will appreciate the taste of portobello mushroom, even on a meatless pizza filled with mostly vegetables. Try a pizza with portobello mushroom with some rather bold wines, like Pinot Noir.
These white mushrooms are the workhorses of the mushroom family, as they’re very common in a wide range of dishes. You can find these immature mushrooms in pizza, risotto, pasta, omelets, and even tarts. They’re so popular that it’s estimated that button mushrooms make up 90% of all the mushrooms consumed in the US.
These are popular because they’re so affordable. The flavor is extremely mild, and almost tasteless. But then again, these mushrooms easily absorb the flavors of the other ingredients they’re cooked with. These mushrooms can be roasted, braised, grilled, stir-fried, and sauteed. You can even eat them raw if you want.
Baby Bella Mushrooms
These are also known as cremini mushrooms. They’re older than the immature button mushrooms, but younger than the portobello mushrooms. Hence, some people call them baby bella mushrooms.
As these are older than the button mushrooms, they have a browner color, their texture is firmer, and you get more noticeable flavors. It combines very nicely with arugula and garlic.
These aren’t all that easy to find, as they’re only found in forests during the short spring season. They’re gorgeous-looking and flavorful, with a robust earthy taste.
Try this mushroom (just make sure they’re fully cooked) with some bacon and feta cheese on your pizza.
Yes, these are mushrooms. They may be synonymous with luxury dining, as lots of pizzas with truffles tend to come with higher prices. But if you want the best-tasting mushroom for your pizza, this is it.
Your best bet is to make sure your pizza doesn’t have too many ingredients that might overwhelm the flavor of the truffles. These luxurious mushrooms deserve the spotlight, so go with a cream sauce with an understated flavor.