For today’s lunch I prepared pork filet with mushroom sauce and vegetable rice. Cleaning the mushrooms, I remembered some TV cooking shows where the chef was suggesting to peel the mushrooms.
Doing the same, I thought, what for??! What difference does it make? So I took back the paper towel I started up wiping the mushrooms and continued cleaning them I usually do.
Looking up the internet, I found some opinions saying that because of fertilizers and other chemicals you should peel them. At my opinion, this is complete nonsense!
First of all, most mushrooms you buy in your local stores are cultivated. You can even grow them yourself at home! In a local gardening store I once saw peat bales with spores of button mushrooms, ready to grow in your cellar or storage room.
Second, if you would use fertilizer on your mushrooms the chemicals would get straight threw the whole plant, as the “skin” of the mushroom is so soft, that it would not be able to protect the rest of the plant against the fertilizer.
Third, the mushrooms, as cultivated, usually grow in a clean environment so that it is not even necessary to use any fertilizer! I even think, that this also counts for wild mushrooms (even though the risk that maybe an animal pees on it is much higher than for cultivated ones 🙂 ).
Last but not least: it takes a lot of time to peel the mushroom but in the end, when cooked, they look pretty much the same as the unpeeled!
So how to clean mushrooms best? Well, I myself just wipe away the few soil sticking on the mushroom with a paper towel and cut a bit of the stem away. That’s all. I personally do not wash them under water. I do agree with some opinions in the net that the mushrooms suck the water and while cooking release it again. I made this experience myself. You can use paper towel or a brush for cleaning, that’s all it needs. Some mushroom types, like oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus), are even that clean that it is not even necessary to wipe them!
So don’t loose time if you like mushrooms in your favorite dish!