WHAT IS A PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM?
Much like with Chilean Sea Bass, the name Portobello was created several decades ago to help sell promote sales. The correct spelling per the Italians is Portabella, however I’m using the more popular spelling here. These mushrooms are the mature form of several different strains of the same species.
WHY ARE PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS GOOD FOR YOU?
Like with most mushrooms they offer a lot of health benefits including necessary vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties. Another reason is that they are usually much more affordable then their cousin shiitake. Portobellos are also a good substitute for other less healthy ingredients in a wide variety of recipes.
WHEN ARE PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS IN SEASON?
They are available year-round.
HOW SHOULD PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS BE STORED?
Fresh mushrooms need to breathe, so do not store them in a sealed plastic bag. A paper bag lined with some paper towels will work just fine in your refrigerator. But they don’t keep very long so use them as soon as possible. If they get a little soft, clean them up and use them in a cooked dish instead of something raw like a salad. Make sure to cut off the end of the stalks, that is where the most dirt is.
- Aren’t Cremini Mushrooms also Portobellos?
Yes. Cremini mushrooms are just portobello mushrooms that have been picked at a 3 to 7 days earlier. That is why Creminis have the nickname “baby portobellos.”
- How Do I Know Which One to Use?
Basically go by how long you want to cook the mushroom. Smaller cuts or pieces will cook faster then bigger ones, so if you want your mushrooms to not be overcooked go bigger in dishes that cook longer. For a lesson on the proper way to cut a mushroom click here!
- The Stalk is Too Tough
You can chop or dice it up into smaller pieces that cook faster or marinate it in some delicious balsamic vinegar!