Know Your Food: Mushroom – Respect Food
— 31.08.2020

Know Your Food: Mushroom

Mushrooms have endless varieties and are a kitchen favorite for many. With so many options, it can be tough to know the best way to pick, store, and enjoy them. 

Whether you’re getting them from your local grocery store or picking them in the wild, mushrooms require a bit of research for safe and tasty consumption. 

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where they readily grow in the wild, learning about local mushrooms is vital. Some mushrooms can be dangerous for human consumption. That’s why it is better to do some research or rely on someone well-informed on picking wild mushrooms.  

So in this month’s article, we’re covering the fundamentals of mushroom that you can apply to almost all kinds from shiitake to portobellos to white button mushrooms. 

Read on to discover how to pick them, what their texture means? What is the best way to store for most flavor? How long can they be kept? And lastly, some simple but yummy recipes to enjoy them.

How to pick mushrooms? 

The most common way to tell the freshness of mushrooms is to touch its surface. The outside should be soft, dry, but not wrinkly. Since mushrooms are mostly made of water, the skin tends to look vibrant when they’re fresh. 

One of the most popular kinds is white button mushrooms. They tend to have a plump texture, and so long as it doesn’t dry out, they keep that form. The caps of mushrooms tend to store the most flavor. You use the top parts to add a more intense flavor to your dishes.

How to store mushrooms?

Although it depends on the kind, most mushrooms retain their freshness in their original packaging for 5-6 days. Once out of the packaging, you can place them on a cooking sheet and get rid of the moisture to keep them fresh. 

Fresh mushrooms are more likely to go bad due to their high water content. That’s why freezing mushrooms won’t help extend their shelf life. Sauteed mushrooms, however, can be frozen and kept fresh for a month. 

Best way to enjoy?

The caps of mushrooms tend to have the most flavor. The parts that can be peeled off should be kept away from water contact as much as possible. Instead of washing, try wiping the mushrooms with a wet cloth. The high water content makes them prone to releasing water when cooking—just like in meat dishes, sealing them quickly and cooking them on high heat helps keep the flavor in. 

When used in dishes, it would help keep an eye on the water or liquid amount as it can add to it, resulting in a watery dish. You can use hardened mushroom bottoms in pizza as topping and soups or straws.

Buying often, according to our needs, is key to a sustainable future. When shopping, knowing the right way to tell freshness can help ease your mind and reduce food waste. By giving `funny` looking produce and leftovers a chance, we can add more flavor to our lives and start making a better future straight from our homes. 

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