Why Is It so Hard to Digest Mushrooms

Most ingredients like meats, vegetables, and even pasta are easy to overcook. However, the mushrooms are so persistent that even novice cooks can master them with ease. This is why they are the most gentle ingredient in the kitchen.

In this video from America’s Test Kitchen YouTube, Chef Dan Sousa uses tests to show why mushrooms are one of the easiest ingredients to work with in the kitchen. Using an instrument called the CT3 Texture Analyzer , they measured the strength of steaks, courgettes and portobello mushrooms when steamed. In 40 minutes, the steak was 293% harder, the squash became soft and structureless, and the Portobello hardness increased by only 57% (and remained flavorful to the testers). So why is it so hard to overcook mushrooms? This is due to their cell walls, which are made from a polymer called chitin . Neither the protein found in meat nor the pectin found in vegetables are heat-resistant, unlike chitin. Regardless of how you cook the mushrooms – quick fry or long roast – you are almost guaranteed to have a great tasting and perfectly tender ingredient.

Science: Why Mushrooms Literally Can’t Be Digested | Youtube


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