The mushroom season is at its peak, the current wet days are favourable for mushrooms. And thanks to all kinds of anti-epidemic measures, Czechs have time for long mushroom walks in the autumn forest. However, according to mycologists, many mushroom pickers do not know how to clean the mushrooms properly. In today’s article we will tell you the correct procedure.
After returning from the forest
Despite the fatigue, we should start processing mushrooms as soon as we return from the woods; breaks for tea, coffee or grog are not suitable in this respect. It is important to remember that worms or bacteria are already multiplying in the mushrooms when they are in the basket and you are wandering through the forest with them. If there is only one mushroom in the basket infested with any parasite, a basket full of mushrooms is a feast for the pest in question. The activity of all sorts of parasites then usually increases with the temperature, which is usually higher in your home than in the forest.
By type of treatment
The mushrooms need to be cleaned depending on how you will process them further. In the Czech Republic, we are used to three basic treatments for mushrooms:
- If you are cleaning the mushrooms for immediate consumption, rinse them under lukewarm running water, scrape off any dirt with a regular table knife, and wipe the mushrooms with a soft damp cloth.
- If you pickle the mushrooms in vinegar, the procedure is the same as for cleaning mushrooms for immediate consumption.
- If you want to dry or freeze the mushrooms, do not rinse or soak them. Wipe them with a soft damp cloth and scrape off any dirt with a paring knife. After scraping, wipe them again with a cloth.
You should also cut each mushroom into quarters or even smaller pieces with a sharp knife to make sure there are no worms. In some species the worms mainly attack the caps, in others the legs are more susceptible for a change. If the wormy part of the mushroom is wormy, you should throw the whole thing away. Even the seemingly undamaged part of a wormy mushroom is not suitable for consumption, regardless of the type of preparation.