The mushroom is just one of a very large, diverse group of organisms called fungi. It is similar to a plant but lacks chlorophyll, so they cannot produce food for themselves through photosynthesis. The mushroom is a decomposer that absorbs nutrients from materials such as compost, leaves, decaying wood, and soil. There are many types of mushrooms, varying in size, shape and color, with surfaces that range from smooth and silky to pitted and honeycombed. The most common and readily available are the cultivated white mushrooms, mushrooms which have a mild flavor and can be used in many types of dishes. Wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, morel, shiitake, portobello and oyster, will provide a more intense and exotic flavor. Generally, mushrooms contain 90 percent water and have few calories. The fat and carbohydrate content is minimal and they do not contain any cholesterol. They are rich in protein and contain vitamins such as B, C and D, while a few contain vitamin A. Be aware that some of the vitamin values are destroyed during the cooking process.