How to Pick a Portabella Mushroom | Veils Lost

When the mature portabella is beginning to drop its spores, the veil is mostly gone expect for perhaps a portion still clinging to the stem and the mushroom cap has started well on its way to flattening out as the gills simultaneously continue to open and spores begin to drop.
portabella_mushroom_matureA portabella mushroom with a flattening cap and opening gills.

You can judge a portabella mushroom at this stage by the texture and openness of the gill structure and most obviously the cap edges which lose their thick rounded look and start to get a sharper terminus - although the cap is not yet completely flat.

From a culinary perspective, this is the time when the portabella mushroom is beginning to gather a more intense flavor and is starting to lose water weight. Magnified considerably when the portabella mushroom has been picked, the effect of the open or missing veil and the open gills is the primary driver of water weight loss in the portabella mushroom.

From a shopping perspective and a health perspective, you aren't losing any nutritional benefits as the mushroom develops to this stage, but you are saving money by not paying for the water weight of the younger portabella mushroom.

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