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The cultivated mushroom - which is available in white, brown and stone mushroom varieties - is the most cultivated mushroom today. It is available fresh in supermarkets all year round, but often in large packages of 500 grams and more. If you don't need that many mushrooms at once, you can make mushrooms last longer by storing them correctly. Much tastier than the cultivated variant is the meadow mushroom, which can be found in meadows, fields, pastures, parks and gardens, especially in warm, humid weather. Here it grows in great numbers, so that part of the yield has to be frozen or dried.

Mushrooms should be kept unwashed in the refrigerator

When shopping, pay attention to freshness

Due to their high water and protein content, all mushrooms perish quickly. For this reason, you should pay attention to freshness when shopping: Mushrooms sold in plastic packaging, in particular, go bad quickly. But you can recognize fresh mushrooms by these characteristics:

  • closed or half-closed hat
  • firm, crunchy fruit body
  • no dark spots on hat and stem
  • pleasant mushroomy, aromatic-fresh smell
  • older mushrooms often smell slightly musty

You can leave stained and musty-smelling mushrooms in the supermarket - even if they are prepared immediately, they will not provide the expected mushroom aroma due to the poor quality.

Give preference to young mushrooms when collecting

If you collect meadow or other edible mushrooms, give preference to young, still closed or half-closed specimens. The larger a mushroom is, the older it is - and the flesh is often already spongy and infested with maggots. Because the protein content of mushrooms is up to 75%, they perish just as quickly as fresh meat. It often happens that hungry snails and beetles have got ahead of the collector and have already nibbled on the mushroom. You can remove these feeding spots with a knife along with the boarders with a clear conscience.

Proper storage of fresh mushrooms

Fresh mushrooms should be prepared immediately after purchase or collection, because that's when they taste best. If this is not possible, you can also store the mushrooms in the refrigerator at temperatures between one and seven degrees Celsius for up to four days. You should observe the following rules:

  • For purchased mushrooms, remove the outer packaging, especially plastic.
  • This prevents the formation of condensation, which in turn promotes mold growth.
  • Clean and cut the mushrooms just before cooking.
  • Do not wash the mushrooms.
  • Wrap the mushrooms in a dry cotton or linen towel.
  • Keep them in the vegetable drawer of the fridge.
  • Don't leave fresh mushrooms out of the fridge for more than a day!

Although mushrooms should only be cleaned before preparation, this only applies to purchased specimens. Roughly clean meadow mushrooms you have collected yourself at the place where they are found and remove damaged areas and maggots at home. Uncleaned wild mushrooms can otherwise be eaten in the refrigerator by undetected maggots.

Prepare mushrooms for preparation

Like all mushrooms, you should always clean mushrooms dry and never wash them, otherwise they will absorb an unnecessarily large amount of moisture. Otherwise, you will need a kitchen board, a pointed kitchen knife, a mushroom brush (or a round brush) and kitchen paper for cleaning. First, the mushroom caps are cleaned with kitchen paper or by scraping with a knife. It is often enough if the mushroom is simply rubbed off with your fingers. The handle is then cleaned by scraping and cutting. Carefully remove any remaining dirt with the mushroom brush or a fine brush. Then cut the mushrooms lengthways to check for maggot damage. Finally, the mushrooms are cut into slices or large pieces as desired.

How to make mushrooms last longer

If you want to keep the mushrooms or even a mushroom dish prepared with them longer, you can either freeze or dry the cleaned and cut mushrooms. Mushrooms are also very good for preserving or preserving or for preserving in vinegar or oil.


Fresh mushrooms can be kept frozen at around minus 18 degrees Celsius for up to six months. For this purpose, however, only freeze the mushrooms in a freezer, not in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator. This does not reach the temperatures required for a longer shelf life, which is why mushrooms stored in it also have to be used up within a short time. Prepared mushroom dishes must be flash-frozen fresh and immediately after cooking or frying, as they spoil very quickly and harmful bacteria can colonize them. They will keep in the freezer for a maximum of two to three months.


Mushrooms are relatively easy to dry, which is best done in a special dehydrator. If you don't have one, you can also dry the thinly sliced mushrooms on a baking sheet in the oven. To do this, heat the oven to 50 to a maximum of 70 °C and clamp a wooden spoon between the door and the oven - this will allow any escaping moisture to escape. However, the procedure takes several hours.


You can make a mushroom powder from dried mushrooms, which is wonderful as a seasoning for soups, sauces and other dishes. All you have to do is grind the dried mushrooms, for example in a coffee grinder.

The garden journal freshness ABC

How can fruit and vegetables be stored correctly so that they stay fresh for as long as possible?

The garden journal freshness ABC as a poster:

  • as a free PDF file to print out yourself

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