Mushrooms are indeed a favorite ingredient of professional and amateur chefs alike. Their meaty, earthy taste and texture makes meals more robust and inviting, while also serving as a staple of meatless dining. Mushrooms are high in umami—the well-known fifth flavor that makes foods more craveable. They are also a great way to bring out the flavor of a wide range of proteins, which is why they are so often featured atop burgers and steaks or used as a complement to chicken, turkey, pork and seafood. Mushrooms have been eaten in Europe, Russia, China and Japan for thousands of years, and there are over 250 edible mushrooms throughout the world. The original name ‘mushroom’ seems to have been derived from many sources. The Anglo-Saxons called mushrooms “muscheron,” while in old French they were known as “moucheron” or “mouseron” meaning soft, spongy texture. Whether being used as a way to replace expensive proteins in dishes or serving as the featured ingredient, mushrooms are one of the true superstars in the culinary world.