Guess how many varieties of mushrooms there are! Give up? 120,000. Of those 120,000 varieties, only 1841 are recognized as edible-safe to eat. Mushrooms often wind up in tales of fairies and elves, where they've long been recognized as mysterious items in folklore. If you are ever out hiking or scouting in the field or wood and come across wild mushrooms, do not eat them. Very few people can tell the difference between poisonous or safe mushrooms, and it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to wild mushrooms. Instead, hide yourself behind a tree and watch for elves, fairies, or smurfs.
The mushrooms you see in stores are excellent for eating. Many of them are grown in dark corridors and wings of abandoned limestone mines in Pennsylvania. The United States is the leading grower of mushrooms in the world. Mushrooms are high in riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and copper.
Cook's Note: As soon as you get your mushrooms home, refrigerate them in their original containers, not in plastic bags that will lead to deterioration. Don't store them near strong-smelling foods, such as onions, or the mushrooms will absorb those odors. When you are ready to use them, wipe them gently with a damp cloth or soft brush to remove the dirt. Soaking them will lead to deterioration, so don't give your mushrooms a bath.
1 pound mushrooms = 6 cups raw, sliced mushrooms = 3¾ cups raw, chopped mushrooms = 2½ cups cooked, sliced mushrooms = 2 cups cooked, diced mushrooms
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