If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with the selection of produce at your local grocery store, you’re not alone! With so many choices available, it’s often hard to push yourself out of your culinary comfort zone and experiment with new ingredients.
With varieties of fresh mushrooms ranging from portabella, to shiitake, oyster and the classic white button, many people may not realize the diverse flavors that can be added to a dish with a generous serving of mushrooms.
In addition to being low in calories, fat-free, low-sodium and naturally gluten free, umami-rich mushrooms are a natural complement (or replacement) to the meat in dishes you may already love. If you’ve been holding off on mushrooms because you didn’t know where to start, Chef Bill Briwa from the Culinary Institute of America and Bart Minor, President of the Mushroom Council, answer your questions about how to select and store fresh mushrooms, sending you on your way to create the mushroom dish of your dreams!
How to Select Mushrooms:
- Purchase mushrooms that are firm with a fresh, smooth appearance. These mushrooms are best used raw in salads or for stuffing. More mature mushrooms will be softer and slightly browned — these will have more flavor, but a shorter shelf life. Chop and cook the day of purchase.
- The surface of the mushroom should be dry, but not dried out, and appear plump.
- A closed veil under the cap indicates a delicate flavor, while an open veil and exposed gills mean a richer flavor.
How to Store Mushrooms:
- For prolonged shelf-life, store mushrooms in their original packaging or in a porous paper bag.
- Some mushrooms may keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.
- Fresh mushrooms should never be frozen, but sautéed mushrooms that are frozen will keep for up to one month. They are great to have on hand to toss into any meal like pastas, sandwiches/wraps, in salads, etc.
With a little inspiration and a basket of mushrooms, you can kick up the flavor of your dishes in a brand new way. Peruse our Mushroom Meal Makeovers Pinterest board to get inspired, then make your way to the grocery store to pick some beautiful ‘shrooms! Here are a few of our favorite meals made over: