On an industrial estate in Horst, there is a small factory hall. In it, 25 thousand kilos (27.5 tons) of mushrooms are preserved every day, packed in 6 kilo (13 pound) buckets and 10 kilo (22 pound) bags. Comé started as a family company and you can still see it today.

After they’ve been picked at the farm, the crates of white mushrooms are wheeled into the hall as quickly as possible. The mushrooms are immediately placed in a vacuum where they suck up water. Mushrooms contain quite a bit of air: by placing them into a vacuum this gets replaced by water, making sure they won’t float to the surface when in the blanching kettle. Blanching (heating something in almost boiling water) is the first step to prolonging the mushrooms’ shelf life.

“The hall smells strongly of boiled mushrooms; under the roof clouds of steam have formed.”

The mushrooms find their way via a conveyor belt: a machine slices them, ice water cools them, they’re dried and at the end they roll from the belt into large plastic bags or buckets. It takes just half an hour to process 10 kilos (22 pounds) of fresh mushrooms into a bag of slices. As a final step, the mushrooms can be pasteurised or sterilised so they keep for even longer.

Around the world, consumers choose Dutch preserved mushrooms. Because the processing industry and the growers are so close to one another, mushrooms can be processed as soon as possible. Therefore Dutch mushrooms retain their strong fresh mushroom flavour, whether canned, jarred, bagged or in a bucket. 

Have a look at the preserved mushrooms which are produced at the factory Comé in Horst.

Share your knowledges