Food myths, like old chestnuts, just seem to hang around. Here’s a few I thought it was time to bust!
Never wash mushrooms, just wipe them with a damp paper towel
This long-standing myth is twaddle. The idea that mushrooms are sponges doesn’t hold water. In fact, mushroom are 95% water already so rinsing them clean won’t make any difference. The only thing you need to do is make sure they are dry before you fry them.
To keep cheese fresh store it in plastic wrap
I know that cheese comes wrapped in plastic from the grocery store but that’s probably the worst thing you can store it in. That’s because it holds in moisture and encourages the wrong kind of mould. It’s much better for your cheese if you wrap it in cheese paper (yes, there’s a special paper for cheese) or even waxed paper.
To reduce chili heat, remove the seeds
Well, it’s not actually the seeds that hold the heat, rather the pith is where the capsaicin (aka the heat) is concentrated. If you want to reduce the heat you need to cut out the pith.
Adding oil to butter will stop the butter from burning
Not true. A mixture of butter and oil will still burn at the same temperature as butter burns (about 175 C). It’s the milk proteins in the butter that burn, and they don’t care whether they’re heated in oil or not. The only reason to combine butter and oil is for flavour.
Cook pasta in plenty of water
Again, an old chestnut. You only need enough water so that the pasta is submerged. Just give it a stir to stop it from sticking you can cook it in as little water as you want. The bonus is you’ll have starchier water to add to your pasta sauces.
Fresh eggs are best
Well, not for everything. While fresh eggs make the best souffle and meringues, they make peeling hard boiled eggs difficult. That’s because eggs lose moisture through their shells as they age. This creates a little air pocket around the egg and when it’s boiled, it’s easier to peel.