How to choose fresh mushrooms

​​​​​​​Mushrooms can sometimes look pretty odd, but selecting them does not need to be intimidating. Whether you are cooking with the popular and delicate white mushroom, large, steak-like portobellos, or meaty shiitakes, you will want to select those with a texture that is firm and smooth. Moisture and mushrooms don’t mix, so select those that are dry, but not dried out and rough.
When shopping for mushrooms, look for ones that don’t have any greyish-brown spots on their caps that can mark decay. What to look for depends on which kind of mushrooms you’re buying. Mushrooms are fresh if they are firm, plump, and free from bruises with no visible moisture on the outside. Avoid slimy or spotted mushrooms. On the underside of the mushroom, examine the moist area near the gills under the cap as well. The gills should be tight as these will spread open as mushrooms age. The bottom of the stem can be a little discolored, but should not be overly dry, mushy, or starting to shred apart.
For white or cremini mushrooms, make sure they are firm, plump and clean. The cap should be attached to the stem. Portobello mushrooms have a rich, robust taste, ideal for the BBQ. Give them a sniff as they should smell like the earth and have fresh-looking gills. Shiitake mushrooms have an earthy, almost smoky flavor, making them a great addition to any flavorsome dish. They should have smooth, firm caps and be tender, not dry but not slimy either.
As for the presence of dirt, it is no indication of freshness or quality. Cleaner mushrooms are better to work with as they require less cleaning, but a little dirt on the cap or clustered near the stem is not a problem.
Variety of fresh mushroom: white brown beech, button, shiitake, grey oyster, and portobello.