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:


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.


  1. Besides, unlike a bunch of other edible things, mushrooms have the same amount of taste which just waters out as they grow bigger.

    So little mushrooms are much better than big ones!

    This especially goes for Boletus mushrooms, like here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boletus - the ones on the drawing are good, but the one on the real life picture is not as good.

  2. Hey Dino!
    I've been trying to leave you a comment on your podcast's website, but it was blocked every time by the "bad behavior" program.. is that normal?

    Anyways I wanted to thank you for all the priceless tips! I'm very happy because I finally received your book a few days ago and started experimenting today. It's soooo great! :)

    Big hugs from Strasbourg

  3. Fixed it, Anastasia! Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad to help.

    Sqrt: Exactly! Whenever I buy mushrooms by the pound, I tend to buy the smallest ones that I can find.