I grew wine caps last year for the first time, and ended up with more than I could eat fresh. Some I gave to friends and family, some I canned, and some I dried. Sometimes the wine caps spent a few days in the fridge between being picked and being processed. Could some of them have started to go bad before I dried them?
Now that I am using them, the dried wine caps have a strong, earthy odor that I find somewhat off-putting. I don't really know how to describe it. I let them air out for a day after being in a sealed container for the winter. Then, I soaked them in hot water, drained them, and cooked them in butter. They still had a bit of the off odor that turned my stomach, but they tasted okay. I didn't eat too many, and I'm composting the rest of the ones I prepared, because I really just can't eat them. I didn't have a problem with the mushrooms when they were fresh, and I haven't had a problem with the ones I canned.
Has anyone else run into this effect with dried wine caps? Or did I wait too long to get them into the dehydrator?
In my experience, they really are not very good after drying. I cook huge amounts, trying to sweat them as much as possible, then freeze them since the season is fairly short (we get piles for 3 weeks spring and fall). When I say piles, I mean we had at least 5kg or 11lbs A DAY for three weeks. I have friends that won't pick up when they see my number- we call it the zucchini of spring!
I was fortunate enough to get a deal on ten bags of spawn and ten yards of wood chips fresh. I put them down about 6" deep in 400 SF (about 50 M2and nothing happened for a year. Then last fall we got enough for ourselves and some friends. This spring was absurd. Medium pizza-sized tops 30 a day. So we tried drying and they weren't very good. They get funky after a day in the fridge. They get tons of bugs pretty quickly in the patch, so I had to pick them twice a day and got really tired of eating them after about a week! We still got some good frozen quarts. I think if you add some CaCl they might hold together a little better.
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Our winecaps only started appearing a few weeks ago and not in enough abundance to experiment with, so we have yet to try drying them. Was really hoping that could work, so this is really good to be aware of. Thanks for sharing!
We've read that they don't taste very good once the veil breaks and the caps start to flatten out, that the best time is when they look kind of like button mushrooms. I know we picked and sliced a few that were past the button stage and they were squishy enough we put them back under the wood chips.
What stage did y'all pick the ones you dried at? Wonder if that could affect the flavor dried at all?
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I've started growing winecaps this year and expect to get some next spring.
I was thinking about a solution, i don't have a big freezer and was hoping someone here would come up with a recipe to make something like these storebought mushroom pot of the photo. You can keep them all year, stop buying in the shops.
Creating edible biodiversity and embracing everlasting abundance.
This is our first fall harvest growing wine caps and we are slightly overwhelmed. I made a mushroom and chicken soup and it was very good. I’m trying a stock now and wonder if anyone had made a mushroom sauce and frozen it. Any successful cooking/preserving tips welcome
How accustomed are you with preparing and dried fungi? I am wondering whether it may be that you are not used to the aromas?
I have grown up eating dried shitake, woods ear, cloud ear, chanterelles, ceps, boletes etc & the smell is often concentrated when dried. I just took a sniff of the jars that we dried last autumn (southern hemisphere) and they smelt fine.
Perhaps yours weren't dried sufficiently?
After we reconstitute them, we squeeze out the excess liquid which is saved for making soup, stews, gravy etc then toss in olive oil, crushed garlic, salt and pepper and bake them before adding to a stew, quiche or stir fry.
Last autumn was very bountiful.
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