The dirty truth is, mushrooms often come dusted with dirt. Cleaning them is important, but cooks differ on how to do it. Some say you should never wash them, because they will absorb too much water and lose flavor.

I've been told to use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe the dirt off each individual mushroom. I use this method if I have just a few mushrooms to wash, but with a big batch, it can be a real pain. To find out if this is really necessary, read more.

I did a little research and was thrilled to discover that Mark Bittman claims that washing mushrooms won't hurt them. As long as you don't soak them for a seriously long time, putting the mushrooms in a colander and rinsing them under cool water is totally acceptable. Just be sure to blot them dry. I also like to trim the dirty ends off the stems, which gets rid of more dirt and makes them look prettier.

How do you clean mushrooms? Share your tips below.