Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mushroom brushes

This is mushroom brush Number Two. It's a little kitchen brush, shaped like a mushroom, used to gently brush bits of dirt from delicate mushrooms. I still have mushroom brush Number One, but its bristles are stained and its wooden cap is cracked in several places. I don't use it any more, but I still have it tucked away in a drawer. Mushroom brush Number Three is fresh and new.

Mushroom brush Number Two is beginning to show its age, but it still does the job.

I thought that mushroom-shaped brushes were common things. I learned otherwise back in 2009 during a trip to upstate New York when I went shopping to replace the tired and worn brush Number One. In supermarket after supermarket, from Kmart to Walmart to Target, I shopped until I dropped. I was perplexed that nobody sold mushroom brushes. Not even Williams-Sonoma. Then one day my friend L and I drove to some outlet stores over in Manchester, New Hampshire. We saw a little kitchen shop and stopped in to have a look. Among the jam-packed shelves of kitchen tools both curious and questionably handy, L spied a mushroom brush! I was so happy to have it (it's the brush pictured here). A number of years later, in a local store called Facile (which means "Easy"), right across the river from us, I found mushroom brush Number Three tucked away in their kitchen tools section and snapped it up. Its handle is made of resin instead of wood, but it's still shaped like a mushroom and works well. I haven't seen another one in the store since then.

Again, I thought these were common tools. We live in an area where button mushrooms (champignons de Paris) are grown commercially, but mushroom brushes are rare. How do people brush the dirt from their mushrooms without one? I've seen television chefs use paintbrushes for that task, and even though I do have a collection of paintbrushes that we use in the kitchen, I never thought to use one for cleaning mushrooms. That's why mushroom brushes exist. Or ought to.

9 comments:

  1. How about a combination: mushroom knife with a brush ..? We use them here in Finland.

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  2. Who would have thought there was a specific brush for mushrooms.

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  3. I've heard of mushroom brushes! Seen them, and had them, but haven't used one in ages. Now, I'll have to pay attention to whether or not I see one, next time I'm in the store. I wonder if a grocery store might be likely to have one? I'll let you know :)

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    Replies
    1. Judith

      Check the kitchen section at TJMaxx

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  4. How strange. I, too, thought mushroom brushes were very common. I even had a couple when I lived alone; they were given to me as gifts and of course never used.

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  5. Damp paper towel does it for me.

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  6. I have one that came from a housewares trade show in NY years ago. But good for you, for perseverance.

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  7. ilonak, I've never seen one of those!

    andrew, they've existed as long as I can remember.

    judy, I thought they'd be in the supermarkets, too, but they weren't in 2009. I haven't looked since.

    t.b., kitchen section? I thought TJMaxx was a clothing store?

    mitch, of course. That would be cooking!

    diane, good idea!

    emm, they're just so handy...

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  8. Walt

    In the back of the store , you have a kitchen and bed &bath section. I usually visit them when we go to Maine in Summer - they have one store in every little town.

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