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    Mushrooms and How to Store Them


    Source of Recipe


    Michele

    Recipe Introduction


    Many people don't know how to store and prepare mushrooms. This is a bit of information on how to do just that.

    List of Ingredients





    Mushrooms are fungi that grow on organic matter, like lawns, rotting wood and rocks in caves. Mushrooms are all different shapes, but they have two basic parts: the stem and the cap. The stem may be thin or thick, bulbous or straight, stumpy or elongated, woody or edible. The cap may be flat or shaggy, concave or convex, crinkled as a cabbage or smooth as a balloon. Many mushrooms also have gills, either under or on top of the cap.

    Cultivated mushrooms are grown year-round on farms all over the world. The most commonly recognizable farmed mushroom is the French-cultivated or Paris mushroom. However, other mushrooms, shiitake, portobello, enoki, crimini and oyster, that are called exotic or wild, are also farm-raised and available year-round.

    True wild mushrooms have been foraged, seasonally, by mycologists (mushroom experts and enthusiasts) and are then sold to markets and restaurants. There are more than 3,000 mushroom varieties worldwide, and while many are edible, several are not, and extreme caution needs be taken when foraging for mushrooms. Foraged mushrooms eaten in restaurants and bought from markets and produce stores are generally safe to eat.

    Mushrooms should be firm, without soft, slimy or dark spots. Gills should be covered by cap membrane or be intact and not crushed. If mushrooms smell rank or soured, or their coloration and texture have changed, discard them.

    Mushrooms should be kept unwashed in a paper bag in the refrigerator, and should not be cleaned until ready to be used.

    To clean mushrooms, brush them with a mushroom or pastry brush to remove any dirt particles. Any soft or discolored spots should be cut away. The stems should be trimmed; if they are woody or tough, like Shiitake stems, they should be entirely removed.
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