If you’re anything like me, you worry about wasting food, but you also worry about making yourself and your family ill by cooking and serving spoiled ingredients.
When it comes to mushrooms, you can usually trust your senses when it comes to deciding whether they’re still safe to eat and serve.
At the store or farmer’s market, take a good look at the mushrooms before picking them out. They should have little to no blemishes, and they should be plump and firm to the touch. They should not be wet, slimy, or floppy.
Sliced mushrooms will not last as long in the fridge, but are a suitable option if you will be cooking them in the next three days.
Whole mushrooms should last up to seven days in the fridge. Sometimes they can make it to ten days, but you probably don’t know how long they have been hanging out at your local store. Seven days is usually a safe bet.
As a seasoned mycophile (mushroom lover!) you’ll grow to have a sixth sense for fresh mushrooms.
Mushrooms are porous, easily absorbing excess moisture upon washing or rinsing. To help your shrooms stay fresh, leave them unwashed in their original carton. Just pop them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them.
If you’ve purchased loose mushrooms, you can store them in a paper bag to help wick away excess moisture, roll the bag to keep it closed, and stick it in the fridge.
Keep your mushrooms away from raw meat and fish.
Moisture and contaminants can make your mushrooms spoil faster.
Spoiled mushrooms tend to get slimy. They may be soft, wilty, and depressed-looking. You may notice brown or black spots. You may also notice a sour, stinky, or fishy odor.
As mushrooms are a soft food, you cannot simply cut off moldy, spoiled parts and use the better-looking portions as you would with a hard cheese. Mold has roots that grow deeper into soft foods than what you can see on the surface. When in doubt, throw it out!
If you’ve stocked up on seasonal mushrooms or found a fabulous sale, you might have extra shrooms to go around.
As they’re porous, mushrooms tend to change in texture after they’re frozen and defrosted. They’ll still be good to eat, but they might not taste so fresh.
Freezing fresh mushrooms isn’t such a bad idea if you’ll be cooking them later on. You might not notice the change in texture very much.
If you can, try dry-sauting the mushrooms before freezing to help release any extra moisture. Or, make a big batch of your favorite recipe and freeze it for an easy dinner on a busy weeknight.