Porcini Mushrooms etc – In Season Now – October
15$ worth of worms. That’s how I learned that porcini mushrooms should not be stored in plastic bags.
At the time I was working organizing a fashion conference in Milan. There was a weekly market just a few blocks from my office. On clear fall days my colleague and I would grab some rosemary and sage roasted chicken and potato croquettes at the market then sit on a park bench eating our food out of paper bags. No utensils, just our lickable hands and lots of napkins.
On one of those days we passed by a stand offering fresh porcini mushrooms. My colleague’s eyes opened wide with pleasure of just seeing it displayed. I looked at him, confused, thinking “Ok what’s the big deal”? And “Since when does a lb/kg of a vegetable cost more than meat”?
Growing up in Miami mushrooms really wasn’t our culinary thing. I mean have you ever seen a Caribbean recipe with even a champignon mushroom, much less wild ones?
But always up to try something new I bought a few. Took it back to the office, and then popped them into the fridge once I got home. Two days later I opened up fridge thinking okay mushrooms, I’m ready to play with you now.
Instead I found a bag overflowing with 15$ worth of worms. I spent the next hour getting over the GROSS and disinfecting my fridge. I was also hella pissed. Why would that guy sell me rotten produce. And why didn’t my colleague not catch it?!?!
As it turns out it wasn’t at all there fault and instead all mine.
You see fresh porcini mushrooms should not be stored in plastic bags. The extra humidity causes them to rot. Instead you should store them in a paper bag for a max of 1-3 days in the fridge. When purchasing your ‘shrooms should be firm to the touch and the undersides pale in color.
Fortunately, I learned from my mistake.
Every time I buy a new unknown ingredient, I now ask all sorts of questions. Like how should I store it? How long will this last in the fridge? Should/can I freeze this? And how do you suggest I prepare this? If you’re at your farmers market or at just the supermarket they’ll most likely tell you like it is. They want you to be satisfied and come back for more.
If not google works real well too.
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