They are pleasingly mild and woodsy; their flavor intensifies when cooked. Freshly picked, they have closed veils (caps that fit closely to the stem) and delicate flavor, whereas mature mushrooms, with open veils and darkened caps, develop a richer, deeper taste.
When selecting, choose mushrooms that are firm, fresh, and smooth, as well as free of blemishes and moisture. Check underneath their caps for tightly closed brown gills (for richer flavour) and be sure the surface of the cap is not dried and woody on the edges. If you don’t see gills, they will have a more delicate flavour. Also, look for slimy or sticky surfaces and for any coloring that is not normal. Avoid mushrooms that are wrinkled, slimy, ragged, or spotted.
Refrigerate uncleaned fresh mushrooms in a paper bag or their original container allowing them to breathe. They remain freshest when neither too dry, nor too damp, so never store in airtight plastic, and place on a regular shelf (rather than in a high-humidity produce drawer) in your fridge. Depending on the variety and the humidity level, they should keep well, but use soon after purchase so they remain firm and blemish free and so they do not absorb odours or flavours from other foods in the refrigerator. Use within 5-7 days.
White mushrooms can also be frozen if necessary. To freeze, place raw white mushrooms on a tray in the freezer; when frozen, store in the freezer in a plastic bag or container. Dried mushrooms should be stored in your pantry in the bag in which they came. They will keep for a very long time dried.
Mushrooms absorb water easily and should never be soaked for cleaning. Instead, please remember that water reduces their flavour and is absorbed into the mushroom only to be released into foods combined with them. Water will also have a tendency to turn mushrooms grey in color.
Therefore, to clean, gently brush off any dirt with a soft brush or a damp paper towel. If you must wash, rinse only very briefly under running water and dry quickly on a paper towel. Cut off and discard any portion of the stem holding a lot of soil. Mushrooms should not be peeled, since their nutritional benefit is just under the skin. Slice or serve whole. If your recipe calls for just caps, save the clean, unused stems for making stock.
White mushrooms can be served:
- Raw in salads and with dips
- Marinated, sautéed, braised, broiled, or grilled
- Added to to any meal including soups, sauces, casseroles, stuffing, stews, omelettes, stir-fries, soup for a delicious level of complexity
- Popular as a pizza topping
- Steeped as a tea
- Filling or meaty feel for the main vegeatrian dish.
Complimentary Seasonings & Combinations
Mushrooms mix well with onions, green beans, tomatoes, fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, and thyme in particular), cream, cheese, and meats.
Be aware that some of the vitamin values are destroyed during the cooking process. Nutritionally, mushrooms are low in calories and fat and hold an abundance of essential minerals and B-Complex vitamins, antioxidants, and are a good source of protein. An excellent source of selenium, manganese, copper, and zinc, all essential trace minerals, as well as iron, riboflavin, and B-complex vitamins.
More recently, studies have shown the common button mushrooms, including crimini, have been shown to have anticancer properties. For instance, breast cancer growth may be prevented by guarding against circulating levels of estrogen in the body from becoming excessive. Other impressive nutrients found in crimini mushrooms are: an excellent source of selenium (to maintain function of the antioxidant system), riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), copper, niacin (vitamin B3), potassium and phosphorous.
White mushroom, 1/2 cup (100g) (raw, pieces)
Total Fat: 0.12g
- There are 70,000 species of the mushrooms in the world, with only about 250 being edible.
- Mushrooms will double in size every 24 hours. As a result, portabella are not that much older than cremini.
- While used as a vegetable, mushrooms are actually a fungus.
- Size determines the name for white mushrooms: small caps are referred to as “button” mushrooms, while large caps are called “jumbo.”
- The mushroom is just one of a very large, range of organisms called fungi. Although similar to a plant, it lacks chlorophyll which is essential to produce its own food through photosynthesis.
- The mushroom is a decomposer, absorbing nutrients from materials such as compost, leaves, decaying wood, and soil. There are many types of mushrooms, varying in size, shape, and color, with surfaces that range from smooth and silky to pitted and honeycombed. The most common and readily available is the cultivated white mushrooms, which have a mild flavour and can be used in many types of dishes.
- Generally, water is 90 percent of a mushroom’s content and has few calories.