Avoid withered mushrooms, since this is a sign of age. Mushrooms that look bright and attractive are generally a good sign of being fresh. An open “veil” around the base of the cap is also a sign of old age, but not necessarily a bad choice. Open “veil” mushrooms are usually richer in flavor and are good sautéed and in sauces.
Fresh mushrooms should be stored unwashed in the refrigerator where they can be kept for two or three days. Mushrooms should be kept in a brown paper bag instead of a plastic bag where the moisture can be trapped and make them slimy.
Mushrooms should be washed just before using and patted dry. Mushrooms will turn dark if cut and not prepared quickly, but by adding a little lemon juice during cooking they can be prevented from darkening. Mushrooms do not have to be peeled, they can be cut into pieces or sautéed whole. Mushrooms add zest and flavor to gravies, sauces, soups and casserole dishes. They are a fine food in their own right when served as a vegetable or a main dish. Their delicate flavor blends well with other foods.