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Old 07-28-2015, 11:19 AM   #41
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I heard a comment (I think maybe it was Bobby Flay?) that you should let those generic button mushrooms age a few days before using them. Letting them go a bit brown actually adds flavor to what is otherwise a fairly bland mushroom. I've used them after being in the fridge for 7 or 8 days and found them quite good. I wouldn't use them raw for a salad, but sautéed or incorporated into a dish they work just fine.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:50 PM   #42
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Thanks for the tips Carole and RP. I have some mushrooms, um, "aging" in the fridge.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:53 AM   #43
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Thanks for the tips Carole and RP. I have some mushrooms, um, "aging" in the fridge.
Those aging shrooms are great for a homemade cream of mushroom soup.

Years ago I went to a now defunct produce market. Outside on a table with the "must be sold now" less than fresh veggies was a huge bag of shrooms, the white button kind, literally sitting in the sun going bad (gee wonder why they went out of business, you don't leave stuff like that in the heat and sun).

I rescued that bag of shrooms (and yes there were a few bad ones making for a great gag reflex when the bag was opened), brought them home, WASHED them and made the best homemade...the first homemade cream of mushroom soup I ever made. I even gave a sample to a local chef for whom I was doing some stainless steel work in his kitchen at the time; his eyes lit up and he ate it all...and loved it.

Now I'm giddy when shrooms go on a great like BOGO sale because that means cream of shroom soup! It aint nothin' like that crap in a can!
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:57 AM   #44
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Shroooooms!

Larry_stewart,

You are da man. I have got to get back on my mycology path. I was obsessed with it when I first moved to the woodsy home we live in now. I was like “there has GOT to be some varieties of mushrooms I can eat growing around here”. It was like that saying “water water everywhere but not a drop to drink”…I had shrooms everywhere! But knew there was danger.

Then I joined The Shroomery web site to learn…how to kill yourself with wild mushrooms! I did find many varieties and kept my deep fryer going for a few years on that tangent. I walk by them now and just make a mental note like “hey, beautiful puffball there…I used to eat those”! I used to ask random home owners to harvest mushrooms from their yard but had to interrogate them as to any chemicals they may have used. People got this puzzled look on their face “I can’t believe this stranger just asked for my yard mushrooms”! I would nearly wreck my car keeping an eye out for shrooms after a soft rain.

So back on topic:

The simple answer is "wash the mushrooms". Like others said here, there have been tests debunking the myth that “washing mushrooms is detrimental and that they are little sponges that will soak up that water”. I STILL see TV chefs saying this…it’s irresponsible for them to do so in my opinion because produce comes from all over, you don’t know what’s on them when you buy them. Heck they just discovered Mexicans were defecating in the cilantro fields down there…a good reason to grow your own.

America’s Test kitchen also did the test to debunk this heinous myth that has people spending all this time brushing shrooms or eating potentially dangerous unwashed shrooms. They soaked one batch, rinsed one batch and dried them on a towel then weighed them and compared to the unwashed control sample there was almost no change in weight, Mushrooms are essentially all water, the only ones that act like sponges are dehydrated or dried.

I do not buy sliced mushrooms. I don’t usually buy ANY pre-prepared vegetables. I prefer to cut my own. I refuse to buy bagged salad anymore as well; I can tell when I go to a restaurant and they are using bagged salad mix, I can literally taste it, plus there have been a whole lot of contamination cases over the years, those bags seem to be petri dishes and almost no-one is going to wash a salad mix before they eat it.

I would think you would have no problems washing sliced mushrooms either, if they are the meaty button kind. You’d have to be careful with big slices of portabella if you want them in whole slices to keep them from breaking.

With button and cremini shrooms, I wash them under running water using my hands to remove stubborn grow medium then lay them on a kitchen towel. Before slicing them for a salad for instance I pick each one up with the towel and use the towel to dry them off. Yes, we wash a lot of towels in Chef Kenny’s house…I’m old school like that. I did not learn that from momma, she won’t use towels or sponges, afraid of bacteria.

I do not wash mushrooms till I’m ready to eat them. I leave them in the little container they are sold in which is designed to let them breathe. If I buy bulk loose ones, I tuck a paper towel underneath of them and leave them in the bag they are in, with the top of the bag loosely crumpled together, not sealed.

During my mycology obsession and time on The Shroomery it was always advised that you not only wash wild mushrooms but you always cook all of them, every single type before eating. They advised to NEVER eat a raw wild mushroom of any type and that is AFTER you have 100% positively identified that you have a safe to eat shroom using spore prints, bruise testing and written and pictorial media and even a post and Q&A on The Shroomery where people who live for shrooms will tell you if you are good to go. If you don’t know what you are doing, do not eat wild mushrooms…period. Your mileage, danger level…and lifespan might vary!

Homegrown shrooms are safe, especially if you bought spore kits from a reputable dealer.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:42 AM   #45
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When I lived in the country, I tried to learn to identify mushrooms. I had my book and my coloured papers so I could see what colour the spores were. I brought home delicious looking mushrooms and identified them as things with names like "poison pie". I never once identified something edible using the book.

I did, once, find some morels. I also collected brain mushrooms (sometimes called false morels), but mostly at a friends place. Yes, I know they can be toxic, but we always cooked them and I collected enough that I dried lots of them and cooked them later. They are very delicious.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:46 PM   #46
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America’s Test kitchen also did the test to debunk this heinous myth that has people spending all this time brushing shrooms or eating potentially dangerous unwashed shrooms.
You cannot wash pathogens off of raw produce.
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Old 08-13-2015, 12:56 PM   #47
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Years ago there was a woman from my church who used to go across the road to an abandoned farm and pick mushrooms and bring them home and cook them. She did it for years, until one day she picked the wrong thing and became deathly ill, but did recover completely. Luckily she was the only one in her family who ate them. I would never trust myself to pick the right ones.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:01 PM   #48
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Friends were good mushroomers, and cooked up a bunch of morels. The husband got terribly sick. Apparently there was a false morel in the bunch.

I only trust Hen of the Woods here, unless the mushrooms are gathered by an expert.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:49 PM   #49
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You cannot wash pathogens off of raw produce.
Really? How do you get them off lettuce, etc. then?
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:02 PM   #50
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You don't. You can wash off dirt but not microbes.
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