Why You Should Never Store Fresh Mushrooms Near Your Aromatics

Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient that pairs well with many vegetables when cooking. They are often used in combination with aromatics like onions or garlic to make mouthwatering dishes like cream of mushroom soup or mushroom and roasted garlic risotto. Since these ingredients are often used in similar recipes, most people's first instinct would be to store them all in one place; however, this is a mistake. You should avoid storing fresh mushrooms near aromatics, as it is guaranteed to affect their taste down the line.

While we tend to treat mushrooms similarly to vegetables in the kitchen, they are actually a type of edible fungi. Like many other fungi, mushrooms are extremely spongy and porous, meaning they have a high chance of absorbing elements in their environment, including other smells and flavors. On the other end of the equation, aromatics are named as such because of their naturally strong odor and taste, meaning even in their raw state they release powerful scent and flavor molecules. Storing mushrooms near to these items exposes them to these molecules, which the mushrooms will then absorb. If they absorb too much, they will end up taking on the flavors of the aromatics themselves.

How to best store mushrooms

If you know how to store mushrooms correctly, keeping them separate from your aromatics is relatively easy. Mushrooms are best stored in the refrigerator. You can keep them in a bag made from a breathable material like paper to avoid moisture buildup or keep them in their original packaging, provided it has holes for air to circulate. Meanwhile, most aromatics, like shallots or garlic, should be stored outside of the fridge in a cool, dry space, like a pantry. By putting each ingredient in its proper place, you not only will ensure that they avoid cross-contamination, but also that these ingredients stay at peak quality.

Per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), fresh mushrooms that are stored correctly will last for about a week, after which point they will begin to turn. If you would like to purchase mushrooms farther in advance of when you plan on using them, or if you want to avoid the hassle of storing them correctly, we recommend purchasing dried mushrooms as opposed to fresh ones since they last far longer — up to a year – and can be easily rehydrated for use.