What is the Rarest Edible Mushroom? (Solved!)

Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone knows about portabella mushrooms and baby bella mushrooms. Most people have heard of Shiitake, Oyster, Porcini, Morel, and truffle mushrooms. 

The delicious edible fungus that are mushrooms are found all over the world. The most expensive mushrooms are often the rarest. The price of a mushroom is based on taste and how easy or hard it is to find it or cultivate it.

The rarest edible mushroom is considered to be the European White Truffle. These mushrooms are expensive and rare because they cannot be cultivated. They have to grow wild, be discovered, and then harvested.

There is one mushroom that is currently a contender for rarest and most expensive Edible Mushroom. This mushroom is called Yartsa Gunbu and it is from China and Tibet. This mushroom is not as hard to find as the European White Truffle as it grows abundantly in its region. However, like the white truffle, it cannot be cultivated. 

What are the top 12 Rarest and Most Expensive Mushrooms in the World?

There are 614 known edible mushroom varieties and about 80 known mushrooms that are not edible. Of the edible mushrooms there is a wide range of prices from a couple dollars per pound to a couple thousand dollars per pound. Here is a list of the 12 Rarest and Most Expensive Edible Mushrooms.

  1. European White Truffle Mushrooms
  2. Yartsa Gunbu Mushrooms
  3. Matsutake Mushrooms
  4. Black Truffle Mushrooms
  5. Morel Mushrooms
  6. Chanterelle Mushrooms
  7. Enoki Mushrooms
  8. Porcini Mushrooms
  9. Lion’s Main Mushrooms
  10. Shiitake Mushrooms
  11. Oyster Mushrooms
  12. Kalahari Truffle Mushrooms

European White Truffle Mushrooms

European White Truffles are the most expensive culinary mushroom. These mushrooms grown underground all over Europe. They tend to prefer oak trees. European White Truffles can go for anywhere between $1,500 and $4,000 a pound. The price depends on how many are harvested and the current truffle market conditions.

White Truffles grow wild and, so far, cannot be cultivated. To find these mushrooms harvesters will use female truffle-hinting pigs or truffle-hunting dogs. The Italian White Alba Truffle is considered the “king” of the white truffles.

Yartsa Gunbu Mushrooms

These mushrooms grow in Tibet and China. They are commonly called Caterpillar Mushrooms because they take over moth caterpillars and “eat” them. The caterpillar dies and the mushroom grows in its body. In the springtime they sprout above the soil.

They grow in the Himalayan Mountains at an altitude of 9,000-16,000 feet. While these mushrooms are generally considered edible, they are not a common ingredient in food. They are more commonly used as medicinal supplements. They can cost as much as $2,000 per ounce, making them one of the most expensive mushrooms in the world.

Matsutake Mushrooms

These mushrooms grow near red pine trees in Japan. They have been described as having a mildly spicy and fruity flavor. They are considered a rare Japanese delicacy. They cost between $1,000 and $2,000 per pound. 

This popular mushroom is becoming increasingly endangered as its preferred habitat is shrinking. Matsutake mushrooms have not yet been successfully cultivated. 

Black Truffle Mushrooms

Black Truffles are primarily French grown. These mushrooms have been cultivated outside of France, including in Australia and the United States. 

French Black Truffles are still in the early stages of cultivation. The majority of the mushrooms that end up on the market are wild mushrooms that have been hunted by truffle dogs. The price per pound for Black Truffles is $800 to $900.

Morel Mushrooms

Morel Mushrooms are a popular, if funny looking, mushroom. These conical shaped mushrooms cost around $250 per pound dried and $30 to $90 a pound fresh. The reason for the difference is that they are much lighter weight when they are dried.

Morels grow mostly in the wild. They are considered difficult to cultivate. Luckily, they grow wild in many regions. They are only harvestable from March through May. This small window for harvesting means that dried Morels are easier to come by than fresh.

Chanterelle Mushrooms

The Golden Chanterelle mushroom is the most expensive of the chanterelle mushroom family. It costs about $225 a pound dried. They cost about $50 for a pound of fresh mushrooms. 

Chantrelle mushrooms grow in Central Europe and the Ukraine. They are also found all over the United States. They grow in dense hardwood forests in hot, humid climates. Their season is from Late Spring to Early Autumn.

Enoki Mushrooms

These mushrooms are small and often grow in clumps. They cost about $108 a pound. These mushrooms are common in Asian cooking because they hold their shape and keep their texture.

These mushrooms are native to Japan, China, and Korea. They come in many different colors, although white is the most common found at stores. These mushrooms can be cultivated although it is not easy for smaller farmers or for gardeners.

Porcini Mushrooms

These mushrooms grow in hardwood forests acros the Northern Hemisphere. They can be found in North America, Europe, and even Asia. they are not easy to cultivate and are usually harvested wild. 

They cost between $50 and $75 for a pound of sliced and dried Porcinis. They cost about $60 for a pound of fresh Porcinis. Some of these mushrooms can grow to have caps as big as 10 inches in diameter.

Lion’s Main Mushrooms

This mushroom is one of the strangest to look at. It has no stem and no cap. Instead, it looks like an amorphous shape. It can be found from late summer to early fall in the Northern Hemisphere. It grows in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

This mushroom is considered fairly easy to cultivate and grow. It costs between $8 and $36 a pound fresh. It has a consistency similar to crab or lobster when cooked.

Shiitake Mushrooms

These mushrooms are a staple of Asian cooking and are becoming increasingly popular around the world. They cost between $12 and $24 a pound. There are several different varieties with slightly different tastes.

They grow mainly in Asia but can also be grown in certain areas of the United States. They are not easy to cultivate and are mostly found in the wild.

Oyster Mushrooms

These mushrooms are traditionally Asian and have spread across the world. They are easy to cultivate, making them the best mushroom for those looking to grow their own mushrooms.

They cost between $5 and $15 a pound fresh. These mushrooms come in typical whitish colors but can also be found in blue, elm, pink, and gold varieties.

Kalahari Truffle Mushrooms

These mushrooms are commonly called African Potatoes. They grow native in Africa. They are a type of truffle and are fairly cheap. They only cost about $4 a pound. 

They like to grow in sandy ground near camelthorn trees. While they are not currently found outside of Africa, there popularity is growing and you may start to see them at the grocery store.