Mushrooms: To Clean or Not to Clean
Many people often ask me “Should I clean my mushrooms?” The answer is yes and no.
You might find that the mushrooms that you buy at your local grocery store, whether in bulk or packaged, might have little particles on them. Contrary to popular belief, mushrooms are not grown in manure, so there is no need to worry; these particles are not manure or even dirt for that mater.
As you might have read in my previous posting, mushrooms have a top casing layer spread over the bed when they are grown, and this layer is sterilized peat moss. When the mushrooms are harvested they may still have some particles of peat moss stuck to them, which is what you are seeing on the mushroom or in the bottom of the tray when you bring them home.
To answer the question, yes you should clean your mushrooms, no not in water. The proper way to clean a mushroom is to simple brush it off with a paper towel, soft pastry brush, or if you have one, a mushroom brush. This should remove all the particles of peat moss.
You should never wash mushrooms in water like you do other vegetables. Mushrooms are very porous and act almost like sponge, soaking up water. This causes them to discolour and possibly spoil quicker.
So there is no need to worry. Mushrooms are good if you give ‘em a quick brush, then cook them or serve them cold.