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Some tips on caring for mushrooms

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All mushrooms are hand-picked. Because they are delicate, they should be handled gently to keep them at their best.

Look for fresh mushrooms that are firm to the touch, have uniform colour and have a slightly shiny surface.

Do not wash mushrooms until you are ready to use them, as they may discolour.

Mushrooms should be stored in a brown paper bag in the refrigerator at a temperature between 0 and 2 C (32 to 36 F). The paper bag allows them to breathe better and they will stay firm longer.

Packaged mushrooms keep well in the refrigerator, but once opened they should be stored in a brown paper bag.

Mushrooms are best when they are used within a few days of purchase, but can be kept up to one week.

Prior to use, wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth or rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Particles of peat moss that may be on some mushrooms are harmless and may be brushed or rinsed off prior to use.

Remove the stems if they feel hard or dry. Portobello and shiitake mushrooms generally have tougher stems so simply twist them away from the cap or remove them with the tip of a knife. All other mushrooms can be prepared with their stems on.

Raw mushrooms do not freeze well because of their high moisture content.

All dried mushrooms should be reconstituted before using.

Source: Mushrooms Canada (www.mushrooms.ca).

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