3

Is the part I indicated in the picture safe to eat? It looks like mold? Sometimes the mushrooms I buy have it, sometimes they don't. I wonder what it is!

Mushroom1

And what about this one?

Mushroom2

7

This part of the mushroom is perfectly edible. It's a structure called a partial veil which protects the spore-producing gills on the underside of the mushroom cap, usually while the mushroom is still immature. They open as the cap grows larger, exposing the gills and releasing the spores which produce new mushrooms.

It's pretty common to see these on white and brown common mushrooms (which have a huge number of other names) since they are actually an immature form of the "portobello". Since it's a delicate structure, it's a pretty good indicator for how well the mushrooms have been handled and transported; intact veils will usually indicate a recently-harvested mushroom that has been kept well hydrated. If the veil is a little ragged or partially open, that's fine too.

Note that this applies only to the common mushroom; other varieties may or may not have veils.

  • Cool! So if I get it right, the mushroom in the 2nd picture is younger than the mushroom in the 1st picture? – Kevin Van Ryckegem Jan 18 '16 at 19:52
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    @KevinVanRyckegem Perhaps, but not necessarily. The first one could have been exposed to air and dried out a little more, which can cause the veil to shrink and retract. Mushrooms also don't grow at an exact rate, so it's a little hard to tell based on pictures alone. – logophobe Jan 18 '16 at 19:55
5

That is the "Ring" left by the "Veil" of the mushroom.

The veil is a thin piece of tissue that covers the gills of some species of mushrooms when they are young, before the mushroom has matured.

When the mushroom nears maturity, the veil separates from the cap to reveal the gills, allowing them to spread their spores & sometimes leaves a ring of tissue attached to the stem.

In short, yes it is safe to eat. If any part of the mushroom has become overly slimy or obviously moldy, you should think twice about eating it.

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