Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mushrooms: To Peel or Not to Peel.

It's the little things that can get people all in a tizz.

The humble mushroom. Just a little piece of fungus, can cause much debate among people who think whatever they do, is the best way. Or the only way.

Last week I was invited to attend a pizza masterclass where a couple of professional chefs gave out the tips on how to turn your home made pizza into something equal to that of what is served in a decent restaurant.

As they prepared the ingredients I noticed the chef peeled the mushrooms, because this is what I also do.

I couldn't resist and at the end I had to ask, do you always peel the mushrooms?

The short answer is yes. Professional chefs do always peel the mushrooms and usually pull out the stems, which they are most likely to use for another purpose. This was something about preparing ingredients to be at their finest and ensuring the final meal is as good as possible.

I peel my mushrooms because traditionally, mushrooms are grown in poo and that is one secret spice that I don't want in my food. My Dad was a fan of growing mushrooms when we lived on the farm, I remember them very well.

Commercial mushrooms are apparently mostly grown in straw, poo free, removing the need to peel your mushrooms or removing stems. Giving you much more mushroom to work with!

Nutritionally, the skin, as with most foods (but not chicken, damn it) is the best bit for you, so you should keep the skin on, probably.

Old habits are hard to break so my mushies are likely to be served skin free for some time yet, but what surprises me, is how many people feel so intrigued/annoyed/frustrated with the fact that I like to peel my mushrooms.

How do you prefer your fungus intake?


  1. Perhaps you will be happy to know that I also peel my mushrooms. Well, mostly. You see, if I'm in a hurry, and they aren't too dirty, I leave them on. But if I have time, and they're going into a salad uncooked, then they're skin naked.

    And damn it. Why IS chicken skin so bad for you? I know why, but WHY? It is the best bit.

    Cute post Claire. x

  2. I peel mine too! Unless they are super clean and I am in a hurry also. I never knew if chef's did or not, so I am very glad to read this!

  3. Oh dear, I thought it was normal to peel mushrooms :(
    I really need to stop thinking anything is normal, there is no such thing, not even when it comes to peeling mushrooms!

    PS I wish chicken skin was extra good for you, the world might be a better place if it was ;)

  4. It's funny, I was making mini pizzas tonight and as usual, I peeled my mushrooms and it ran through my mind "do I really need to do this, do others do it?" We'll now I know!

  5. Not peeled and fried up mmmmmmmmmm

  6. I use to peel! Not anymore though :)

  7. Funny you should say this. I remember as a kid back on the farm (down the road from your place) I we used to pick them and mum ALWAYS peeled them. But me, I buy them from the supermarket and I don't peel. No idea why.

  8. Uh oh. A non-peeler here. Just a quick wipe with a teatowel, and they're good to go!! :-)

  9. I peel... I had a mushroom farm as a kid. Come to think of it, I grew mushrooms as a teenager, too - mind you those were the sort that appeared in my leaky, geriatric car after heavy rain... ew...

  10. I do both , if they start to look dodgy I peel, the nice white ones I don't.
    The ,local organic mushroom farm still uses mushroom compost no poop.

  11. I've always peeled mushrooms and get annoyed if my husband puts big fat ugly stumps in the food if he's cooking. As for that secret spice- er, no thanks! #teamIBOT

  12. I'm not a peeler, but then I'm lazy. I will wash if they're dirty though.

  13. I dont peel mushrooms, carrots or any vegetable unless I am making mashed potatoe. I have been a vegetarian (who eats fish) for 20 years and have never been sick or tasted anything gross as yet within the meal. Save yourself some well deserved time!

  14. Very "appeeling" article (sorry I couldn't help myself). The advice from the experts is indeed as you outlined - there is no need to peel mushrooms, apart from being time consuming a lot of goodness and flavour is in the skin. The recommended method is to simply wipe mushrooms gently with a damp cloth. If necessary, simply use a soft brush to remove any dirt from the skin surface and trim the stem end. Peeled or not peeled there is plenty to love about the power of mushrooms...


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