Should you wash mushrooms?
A recent article in the guardian newspaper threw light on the question often asked as to whether mushrooms need to be washed. We thought you might enjoy hearing both sides of the argument with of course the \'better judgement\' from the experts at the mushroom bureau!
\'\'There\'s a battle raging in my kitchen, and I\'m caught in the crossfire clutching a paper bag full of fungi. In the red corner, we have the traditionalists – Delia, Gordon, Larousse Gastronomique– warning me to keep my precious cargo away from the sink at all costs.
Beckoning me from the blue are the hip young guns for whom rules are as old hat as Gordon himself – among them, the scientifically-minded food writer Harold McGee and his disciple Heston Blumenthal, who dismiss this ancient prohibition as \'nonsense\'. Go on, they urge, give them a good old rinse.
I\'m torn – the mushrooms are definitely grubby, and I\'m reluctant to sully my precious pastry brush with what is presumably manure or some derivative thereof, but on the other hand, I don\'t defy Larousse lightly. I turn to the British Mushroom Bureau for help – surely, if anyone will have the definitive answer, it\'s this gloriously specific institution. Their reply brooks no argument:
"The Mushroom Bureau advises that all you need to do is give the mushrooms a wipe with a damp cloth or a quick rinse. It\'s true that they will absorb water and the more water is absorbed the lower the flavour. This is because they are neither a fruit nor a vegetable so do not have an outer skin like an apple for example, and, as a result, will absorb water. You should never soak, peel or remove the stalk."