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grouping of mushrooms

Produce Spotlight on Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, which help the body produce energy from food. Fresh mushrooms are available year-round in Massachusetts.


Shopping for Mushrooms

Look for fresh mushrooms that feel dry and firm. Avoid dark spots. Mushrooms with a stronge, sweet, earthy scent are the most flavorful. Varieties with closed caps have a mild flavor and open caps with gills showing are more robust. Purchase fresh mushrooms prepackaged or in bulk to select the amount you need. Canned or dried mushrooms have a longer shelf life than fresh mushrooms.


Common Types

White or Button – common mild-flavored variety; excellent raw or cooked. Color varies from white to light brown and size from small to jumbo.

Cremini, Crimini, or Baby Bella – firm texture; range in color from light tan to brown. Rich, earthy flavor is more intense than white mushrooms.

Portobello or Portabella – large, mature cremini mushrooms that have a deep, meaty flavor and firm texture. Remove stems before using.

Shitake – large, broad, umbrella-shaped caps. Color varies from tan to dark brown. Rich, full-bodied, smoky flavor and meaty texture. Best when cooked. Stems may be used to flavor stock.


Storage and Preparation

  • Store unwashed mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Avoid airtight containers that collect moisture and spoil mushrooms faster.
  • For best quality, use fresh mushrooms within 1 week.
  • Before using mushrooms, clean off any dirt with a dampened paper towel or soft brush. Rinse briefly under cold running water and pat dry.
  • If the stems are tough, you can snap them off and discard or use them to flavor a homemade stock. Chop, slice, or cut mushrooms into wedges.


Serving Ideas

  • Sauté mushrooms with garlic and herbs for a delicious side dish, serve over cooked rice, pasta, or use as a pizza topping.
  • Add mushrooms to your favorite soups, stews, or sauces.
  • For a vegetarian taco filling or burger, roast portobello mushrooms with bell peppers.
  • Add chopped white or button mushrooms to a garden salad.


Mushroom Math

½ pound white mushrooms =

3½ cups whole =

2½ cups chopped =

1 cup cooked


Using Locally Grown Produce

For recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit our website To locate places to buy local produce, visit

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 cup; Calories: 4; Carbohydrates: 0.6 g; Fiber: 0.2 g; Fat: 0.1 g; Saturated fat: 0 g; Sodium: 1 mg