How should I store Gourmet Mushrooms?
You will receive your mushrooms in sealed zipper-lock plastic bags. They should be inspected and refrigerated on arrival. Mushrooms will last a little longer if kept as close as possible to 34 degrees. Leave the mushrooms sealed in the bag until you first use them. If you don’t use all the mushrooms at once, the remainder should be stored so they can breathe. Leaving the bag loosely open is one option, or place in a hotel pan and cover with a thick, clean, dry towel.
How long will the mushrooms last?
Depending on storage conditions the mushrooms will last between eight days and two weeks. The longest expected life will be for the Trumpet Royale; the shortest is for the Velvet Pioppini. Many chefs at smaller restaurants order once every two weeks in order to save on shipping costs. We recommend that you plan on receiving mushrooms on Thursday or Friday to guarantee that you will get two weekends of use.
There is white fuzz on my mushrooms. Is this mold?
This is probably not mold. Some varieties, usually Alba or Brown Clamshell will begin growing mycelium, especially if they have been allowed to get warm. These fine, white threads are actually the mushroom beginning to grow again as it might in nature. The mycelium tastes like the mushroom and is not dangerous. You can trim away or discard at your option. Mold on mushrooms is more likely to be pink, yellow, blue-green or black.
What cooking techniques are best for mushrooms?
You can use almost any cooking method. Mushrooms respond to different cooking techniques much the same way that meats do. Poaching keeps flavors mild, high heat deepens them. Specialty mushrooms, unlike white buttons and portabella, do not give up liquid as they cook – so they can easily be browned in a sauté pan. Many chefs like high-heat roasting to prepare large batches of mushrooms quickly. We recommend tossing with a little vegetable oil prior to roasting.
The Clamshell mushrooms taste bitter. Is this normal?
Some people are particularly sensitive to an astringent flavor in both the Alba and Brown Clamshell mushrooms, others find this flavor sharp, but interesting. If you prefer a milder flavor, blanch the mushrooms for two minutes in lightly salted boiling water. The mushrooms can then be used immediately, or cooled and refrigerated for up to three days.
Do wood-grown specialty mushrooms require cleaning?
Our cultivated mushrooms are organically grown on a substrate of sterilized sawdust. They do not need to be cleaned before use. We ship them in clusters because it keeps them fresher. Trim the very bottom where a little sawdust may still cling and they are ready for use. However, if you have wild mushrooms or other types that are dirty, don't be afraid to wash them. Either cook immediately, air dry before storing.
Can specialty specialty mushrooms be eaten raw?
When we wear our scientist hats, we think that raw mushrooms might be very hard to digest because part of the cell wall is made in part of chitin – the stuff in crab shells, but wearing our chef caps we know that people can and do eat raw mushrooms. Our suggestion would be, don’t overdo it. You will also find that our mushrooms keep their texture after cooking better than most wilds or white buttons. Alba and Brown Clamshell are often used in salads because they keep their crunch even after cooking.
Are your mushrooms seasonal?
We harvest mushrooms 365 days a year. You can rely on fresh-picked harvest and can plan menus in advance.