When you go to the grocery store to get your basic button mushroom you usually have two choices, purchase them prepackaged or from a little bin where you pick your own. I’ve purchased both, it honestly depends on which looks better.
Most stores will have paper bags near the bin to put your mushrooms. Don’t grab the plastic bag unless you must and do not have another choice. They will get slimy real quick in that plastic bag.
If you go for the pick your own bin look for a few things:
you want one that hasn’t opened up showing it’s gills. The above picture was the best I could do with my bunch of mushrooms that I purchased a few days ago. See where the mushroom is pulling away from the stem, that will eventually show its gills. That means it’s been there a while and not fresh, toss it back.
Choose ones that are still nice and closed.
You also want to look for non dried up (unless you are actually buying dried..hahaha) mushrooms, of course you don’t want slimy ones either. Look for firm, fairly clean, dry mushrooms.
If you pick the packaged mushroom you really won’t be able to look at it’s underside, but you will be able to get a pretty good idea by how the mushroom looks. Is it nice and bright, not dull and slimy looking? Then you have a winner!
When you get your mushrooms home, if you are not using them right away put them in the fridge. If you had to purchase them in a plastic bag, take them out and put in a paper one. No paper bag? Slip a couple paper towels in the bag to prevent the mushrooms from having too much contact with the plastic.
Time to clean them. Don’t wash them!!! They are like little sponges, so a dry rub with a paper towel is best. You just want to get the dirt off. Trim off a little of the stem if needed.
Tada, a nice clean mushroom ready for your favorite recipe.