I stopped at the grocery store today on the way home from teaching my Tuesday morning Nia class for the City of San Jose and I had to stop myself from buying mushrooms. I love mushrooms. It would be nice to enjoy some mushrooms this week, but I have way too many other veggies from both the organic box that was delivered and from my trip to the Berryessa Farmers market. I need to make sure we eat those vegetables and don’t need to buy more . . . although I did by additional greens. When I went to the Farmers market I went to buy greens, but didn’t see any I wanted to I ended up with other veggies. I have gone to the store for spinach. So many greens means we don’t need the mushrooms. Which is fine because we have had them twice in the past seven days, so we will survive. We usually have them at least once a week. I always wash my mushrooms. If I don’t buy them already cut I wash them. If I buy them already cut it is too difficult to wash them. And I’ve learned that sliced mushrooms must be used the day I purchase them or the very next day. They cannot sit in the fridge for a couple of days. When I buy whole mushrooms I wash them. There are many, many, many who say not to wash mushrooms. Some say there is no need, while others give specific reasons as to why not to wash them. The reasons I hear for NOT washing them is that they absorb too much water or they will taste woody.
Well, I have always washed my mushrooms just because I like the thought of getting matter in which they grow off before I eat them. And a long time ago, about twelve years ago, I saw Alton Brown on Good Eats do an experiment that showed mushrooms really don’t absorb that much water when they are washed. It was a little, but not enough in his (and my) opinion to affect the mushroom. If you would like to see the weighing and washing for yourself it is on YouTube. Good Eats S02E13 The Fungal Gourmet. Alton starts talking about the waterlog theory about 2:30 into the video and true to the silliness of the show, he doesn’t actually get to the result until 3:50.
Some people still prefer to just use a brush to get the clods of dirt off the mushrooms. Some people use a damp cloth or a damp paper towel and wipe the mushrooms. I really like to wash them. Sometimes as I am working to get the dirt off they start to peel, it is as if they have an outer layer that just peels right off. When that happens that feels like a REALLY clean mushroom. It shed its outer skin. Now that I think about it, I think I am going to start running the sliced ones under water. Why I haven’t been all along I don’t know.
So what about you? Do you wash your mushrooms?