Well. I always liked canned and/or jarred mushrooms. To me, they had more mushroom flavor than fresh cooked mushrooms. Just the mushrooms canned with salt brought out the flavor of the mushroom more than oils and garlic and herbs ever did. People who have eaten escargot (snails) claim that without the butter and garlic and wine, they probably wouldn’t like the snail. It was everything they were cooked in that tasted so good.
When I was a kid in Massachusetts in an area where they made great pizza, they didn’t use fresh sliced mushrooms. They used canned, and chopped them coarsely, whereby you could actually experience the mushroom flavor on the pizza – even with all else that covered it. They also used a lot more oil, which also made the pizza juicy.
When the modern pizza was introduced in the early 70’s fresh sliced mushrooms replaced the canned and the oil was essentially eliminated, leaving the pizzas lacking in flavor and juice.
Pizza shops could save some money if they went back to the canned mushrooms. You can’t taste the fresh ones on the pizza anyway, and they don’t have a very long shelf life.
Recently for whatever reason, mushrooms in Cleveland have been way below par in quality and shelf life. It used to be if the tops were all white with no brown spots and they felt firm beneath the plastic wrap, they’d be good in the refrigerator at home for a few days. Not so lately. For months now, no matter the grocery store, they look good on the top, but when you get them home and unwrap them, the bottoms are squishy and fishy smelling. Those are not useable. Once they get to the fishy stage, no matter what you put them in or do to them, they ruin a dish.
Many restaurants however, still use them as I have experienced many fishy tasting salads when out and about.
No more. If I order a salad I specifically request no mushrooms.
At home I do the same thing. No mushrooms unless they are in a jar or can. My salads can do without mushrooms. Maybe I’ll start marinating some canned mushrooms in a homemade vinaigrette to top off the salad when I have a mushroom craving.
In all other recipes where I would normally use fresh, I’m using canned – unless I’m at a store where I can see the undersides of the mushrooms I’m buying, then give them the smell test. But frankly I’ve been burned so many times of late, I’m not interested anymore in fresh mushrooms.
Steve brought these home the other day to put in a sauce I was making and they worked perfectly. So there.