Are mushrooms your favorite? Here are some ways of storing these easily perishable but irresistible “fruit of an organism”.

Storing Mushrooms

“Thatched roof of an ancient old house; slight drizzle that fills the air with a renewed freshness; subtle smell of wet mud and a backyard full of tiny white umbrellas” does this lost memory remind you of an overpowering flavor that lures you towards it like “jerry flying towards a block of cheese” ? If you are wondering what this tempting grub is, it is none other than the dirt feeding meaty mushroom! They taste so divine that it was believed they made you immortal. Egyptian pharaohs loved it so much that a commoner was not allowed to eat them. The early Romans called them the “food of gods”. They are neither plant nor a vegetable but belong to a separate kingdom known as fungi. People have extreme reactions to this eunuch of a food item; they either hate them or love them. If you are one of its avid admirers and it gets your gastronomical juices soaring, then it is also essential you know how to store them. They spoil pretty easily and have sponge like water absorption properties; here are some tips on how to store them so that they last long enough for you to savor them.
How To Store Mushrooms
  • If you are one of those lucky ones, who can grow mushrooms at home, then the question of storing them doesn’t arise as you can always pluck the number you want and leave the rest.
  • However if you are one of those unfortunate souls who is stuck in a urban jungle and let alone growing a mushroom, there isn’t enough space for a parthenium to grow then store bought mushrooms are your only options.
  • A store bought mushroom is usually packed in a Styrofoam tray with some sort of plastic wrap on the top. The best way of storing them is just leaving them in the store given package. These packages are designed to store mushrooms and preserve them for a week or so. However, it is important to note that once the package is opened other techniques need to be used.
  • Freshly bought unpackaged mushrooms can be stored in a paper bag. The paper bag absorbs all the excess water from the mushroom, thereby keeping them dry and avoiding decay.
  • Do not store the mushrooms in a plastic bag, as the plastic bag will let the water build up inside the bag. The excess moisture accumulated will rot the mushrooms.
  • Paper bags after a certain period of time have the tendency to become wet, therefore most people use the two bag technique while storing mushrooms. According to the two bags technique, mushrooms are placed in a paper bag and the paper bag in turn is placed inside a plastic bag. The paper bag can be constantly changed based on how wet it gets.
  • Store the bags in a refrigerator but don’t store them in the crisper drawer. Storing them in crisper drawer will not let airflow into the mushrooms, resulting in moisture accumulation.
  • Store the mushrooms away from any other food item with a strong odor i.e. don’t store the mushroom near pungent smelling onions or garlic. Mushrooms are highly odor absorbent and if you place them near fragrant foods, they tend to absorb the fragrance.
  • Mushrooms tend to darken, as they get older, therefore, it is advisable to use the darkest mushrooms first.
  • Cutting the mushrooms and storing them reduces their shelf life, therefore it is advisable to not cut them and store.
  • Mushrooms can also be pickled and stored. Canned mushrooms also have a larger shelf life.
  • One of the best ways of storing mushroom is drying them. However, it is important to note that drying does alter the flavor of a mushroom.

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