Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Nov 11, 2011 11:04 AM

Why Can't You Eat (Freshened) Dried Porcinis Raw?

Hi all

Sorry for a stupid question. In the market today, I picked up a small package of dried porcini mushrooms, which I plan to soak and use in recipe. There was a rather stern warning about not consuming the reconstituted mushrooms without cooking them first. Why? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's not just porcinis. Most mushrooms contain toxins that can make you sick, but the one we eat have toxins that are destroyed by heat.

    6 Replies
    1. re: CanadaGirl

      Okay, makes sense. I'm not a huge fan of the button mushrooms that you find (raw) at salad bars, but you know what, after that article, I have no problem saying "no". Thanks, CanadaGirl!

      1. re: CanadaGirl

        Interesting. I assume you don't mean all mushrooms because I have eaten some raw mushrooms in salads. Can't say I particularly cared for them (I wasn't the cook :) ) but they didn't harm me!

        What's stranger is that I've definitely seen recipes for raw porcini salad....

        1. re: Muchlove

          I've eaten some raw mushrooms too (love me a classic spinach salad) but from what I've read, even the common button mushroom can be problematic.

        2. re: CanadaGirl

          Porcinis can be eaten raw. It may be that the source can't guarantee that the mushrooms haven't gone a little "off" during the drying process. This can happen - I dry a lot of porcinis myself. Cooking them will take eliminate any bacteria or other bugs that may be in the mushrooms. And by bugs, I really mean bugs. Porcini mushrooms are notoriously buggy.

          1. re: Nyleve

            Ok, good to know as my Dad loves mushrooms and uses a lot of the dried kind.

            By the way I did some googling and it seems that whilst eating raw mushrooms does not necessarily cause instant illness, it may not be good in the long term as they can contain some nasty toxins. Take a look at this page:

            I do not claim any special knowledge in this area, so would love to hear from others who know more.

            1. re: Muchlove

              Wow - that is really interesting. I had no idea. I know that individual reactions to edible fungi can be incredibly variable. For instance I can't eat so much as a teaspoon of puffball - cooked or otherwise - which is a famously edible species. My husband, on the other hand, can't eat tricholoma mushrooms without disgustingly horrible effect. I don't have any problem with them. As for porcini, I said they're edible raw because I've had them served raw in salad - and they were fine (and so was I). But from this information it seems that toxins are unpredictible. And perhaps the very process of drying the mushrooms would actually concentrate any toxic compounds in them, making them more dangerous than eating them fresh. Very very interesting. For what it's worth, I never liked sliced button mushrooms in salads anyway. So there.

        3. You can eat them raw.

          It's just a matter of how much.

          1. These don't have toxins.
            Some mushrooms must be boiled like Amanita Rubescens to denature the toxins
            So you can eat it raw but cooking is better, Either way is gooood
            Just remember to remove the white/yellow spongy underneath the cap.
            The soup is really good...
            Dry to store

            1. Texture? I've eaten various types of mushrooms raw, and when I find a good buy I dry my own. When reconstituted, they're kinda weird, compared to fresh, so I cook them.

              Alternate explanation: it's a CYA by someone who didn't clean them before drying.

              1. It works another way, too- I've been told by naturopaths and others that many mushrooms have health benefits and medicinal qualities, but that these are only fully available once the mushrooms are cooked. The opposite situation from most veggies, where the raw ones are best for us and the more cooked they are, the more they lose.