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Should You Wash Mushrooms? Here’s What to Know

A bowl is filled with mushrooms.
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Cleaning produce is a given, right? You toss your fruits and veggies in water, rinse, and you’re good to eat them. But do you include your mushrooms?

While there is a multitude of opinions suggesting to forgo washing in favor of a quick wipe down, you can (and should) properly wash your mushrooms.

The myth that you can’t wash mushrooms is a longstanding one. In fact, it started back in 1937 when French chef Prosper Montagné advised against it lest you lose the flavor. According to Montagné, because mushrooms are porous, they’ll absorb the water and lose taste. But that’s not true.

Cuisinart 5-Quart Salad Spinner

Salad spinners are good for more than greens.

Mushroom flavor comes from glutamate. It’s stored in the mushroom’s cell walls. Technically, unless you drown your mushrooms, you can’t remove it, and even then, they might still taste fine—if a bit mushy.

That doesn’t mean you should soak your mushrooms. Instead, when it’s time to clean them (which should be just before use), lightly rinse them under cool water. Next, use a salad spinner to dry them. Then, toss them into your dish or sauté them for a side.

If you’ve been skipping washing mushrooms, you might want to go ahead and start. When you’ve got leftovers, you can store them and use them later.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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