• July 12, 2024

ALL ABOUT MUSHROOMS, DRIED

Before the start of written history, humans have been gathering and consuming mushrooms for food, and we have been preserving them for almost as long. Particularly wild mushrooms, are quite seasonal; they arise in the spring after the thaw and in the fall following the first downpours. It was and still is vital to preserve mushrooms if we are to have them in our diet all year round. Drying is the greatest method for preserving mushrooms.

Read More: Dried mushrooms

WHY ARE THEY DRIED?

The easiest response to this query is that edible mushrooms just don’t grow all year round in the majority of the earth. There are very few options available in the summer and winter if you’re looking for fresh mushrooms because they usually fruit or flush in the spring and fall. Drying mushrooms allows you to utilize them before they go bad if you have an abundance of them during their season and can’t consume them all before they go bad.

There are more justifications for drying mushrooms. Certain mushrooms are perfect for particular culinary uses because they have concentrated flavors and even more concentrated levels of certain nutrients than fresh mushrooms do. Certain mushrooms, like reishi mushrooms, are better utilized as powders and need to be dried before being made into a powder.

DRIED MUSHROOMS: HOW LONG DO THEY KEEP?

Dried mushrooms have an endless shelf life if preserved correctly, yet the longer they are kept, the more taste deterioration may occur.

To stop moisture from ruining dried mushrooms, they must be kept dry and sealed in an airtight container. It is better to keep the mushrooms dark because light might harm them as well. Instead of thinking in a transparent jar on your countertop, consider the back of your cupboard.

Although keeping dried mushrooms cold is crucial, cool room temperature should work just fine unless you live in a hot region. You might want to store them in the freezer or refrigerator if the temperature inside your home rises over around eighty degrees.

When carefully preserved in an airtight container in a cold, dark environment, dried mushrooms can survive up to three years without losing much of their flavor.

WHICH MUSHROOMS, DRIED, ARE BEST?

Mushrooms vary in their ability to dry. These are some especially tasty dried mushroom species.

SHIITAKE

Thought to be the first farmed fungus, shiitake has been dried for ages to preserve it. Shiitake are prized for their meaty texture and deep, savory flavor, which provide umami to a wide variety of Asian cuisines. The flavor of shiitake mushrooms intensifies when they are dried, and their hard flesh gives them the resilience to withstand the dehydration process.

You may eat dried shiitakes whole or chopped.

PORCINI

Another variety of mushroom that intensifies its taste when dried is the porcini mushroom. These are an Italian type of mushroom that are highly valued for their rich, nuanced flavor. Their earthiness goes especially well with recipes made with chicken and pig.

Porcini mushrooms are sometimes called “king boletes” by foragers. Although fall is their main season, certain varieties of king bolites, referred to as “spring kings,” can be seen in the spring.

Porcini also dry well, thanks to their large caps and wide stems (stipes). A highly valued culinary ingredient is porcini mushroom powder, which is crushed from dried porcini mushrooms.

CHANTERELLES

For good reason, chanterelles are among the most sought-after wild mushrooms in the United States. When dried, their flavors—which are a blend of earthy and fruity—stay beautifully concentrated. Though some types can fruit in the spring, chanterelles predominantly flush in the fall.

Dried and reconstituted chanterelles have a delightfully chewy feel, although their stems can get a little woody and need to be clipped.

Usually, chanterelles are either split into bits or dried whole.

MORELS

Another highly sought-after wild mushroom is the morel, which has a smoky, nutty taste. During the spring, morels flush. Dehydration is an especially good approach to preserve these thin-fleshed mushrooms since they dry fast.

It’s advised to thoroughly clean the morel mushrooms before reconstituting them since their honeycombed caps can store dirt. If you plan to use the soaking liquid for cooking, make sure to strain it through many layers of cheesecloth or fine mesh to remove any leftover grit.

REISHI

Particular to red reishi mushrooms, they are usually utilized in their dried state (see how to dry reishi mushrooms at home). For millennia, reishi mushrooms have been utilized for medical purposes. They’re usually taken as a tea or tincture, which enables consumers to obtain the nutritional advantages without actually eating the mushroom, because they’re very hard and somewhat woody. Usually, dried Reishi mushrooms are used in these formulations.

ARE DRY MUSHROOMS JUST AS SUITABLE AS FRESH?

Depending on how they are used, dried mushrooms can be just as tasty as fresh. Shiitake and other mushrooms concentrate their taste and, when reconstituted, have a texture that is even more meaty than when they are fresh. Morels that are dried might be nearly identical to those that are fresh.

Reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms may not have the same exquisite, buttery feel, but they produce a deeply flavored soaking liquid that tastes great in soups and sauces.

The structure of reconstituted dry mushrooms is strong enough to withstand extensive cooking times, such as those in stews and soups. They provide these meals an extra punch of concentrated flavor since their superfluous water has been eliminated. Because dried mushrooms contain so little water, they could be more suited for certain uses, such as morel compound butter.

However, dried mushrooms are not quite the same as fresh. Because the texture of the mushroom changes throughout the dehydration process, they are frequently less suitable for sautéing, even if they could be excellent for soups, stews, and sauces.

APPLYING MUSHROOM DRY

Usually, you will reconstitute your dried mushrooms before using them in a dish. This entails rehydrating them, usually with broth or boiling water. This may be accomplished by either boiling water on the stove and covering the mushrooms with it, or by cooking the liquid and mushrooms together in the microwave. The size of the bits that have been cut or broken into determines the type of mushroom and how long it takes to reconstitute. Reconstituting dried mushrooms typically requires ten to thirty minutes.

The mushrooms will soften and take on a texture more akin to cooked mushrooms than fresh mushrooms after they are reconstituted. You may now include the mushrooms into your dish. Save the soaking liquid for your food; it will give your soups, stews, and sauces an abundance of mushroom flavor. Vegetable broths benefit from the rich flavor and nutrients added by the mushroom soaking liquid!

Additionally, dried mushrooms can be powdered and added to food. This is one of the most well-liked applications for dried porcini mushrooms.

HOW TO DETECTIVELY DETERMINE DRIED MUSHROOMS

There are several reasons why dried mushrooms could go nasty. Moisture intrusion is one of the main offenders. Your dried mushrooms may have moldy areas if they become too wet. At first glance, these can merely seem as lighter spots on a black mushroom. Throw away any rotten mushrooms right away.

Insects also adore mushrooms, making them a valuable food source for us. This can apply to pantry moths as well as microscopic beetles. Your mushrooms should only be accessible to insects if they have been kept incorrectly. All that will be needed to keep pests out is an airtight container. Place your dried mushrooms on a paper towel and observe any moving insects if you think there may be an infestation. Throw away mushrooms with bugs on them.

Your mushrooms may become lighter in color and lose flavor if they are exposed to the sun. Throw away your mushrooms if you see that the areas where they are exposed to light have become lighter. To prevent this, store your mushrooms in a dark location.