29 May 2008

How to tell that your mushrooms are fresh.

Look under its cap. If your mushroom's cap meets the stem, you're looking at a very fresh mushroom. That is, with a very fresh mushroom, the gills will be covered by skin flaps coming up from under the cap. If the cap doesn't meet the stem, but still folds underneath itself, it's still fairly fresh. If the cap spreads out and points outwards or upwards, you're looking at a really old mushroom.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Check out this neat website that I found for people who are visual (like me). It's called the Visual Dictionary. Here's a link to a picture of a mushroom:

http://www.infovisual.info/01/024_en.html

I learned this trick while watching a Julia Child episode. She is forever giving you little hints and tricks as she goes along. PS This refers to white button mushrooms. Other varieties may or may not have different criteria.