What Are Cremini Mushrooms? A Few Mushroom Facts
We have been buying a lot of cremini mushrooms lately. They’re in the bin next to the more familiar little white button mushrooms, and they’re slightly more expensive but oh so worth it. We got curious about this new favorite mushroom, and decided to gather together a few facts. Here’s what you need to know:
Most of the table mushrooms we eat are all of the same variety: Its name is Agaricus bisporus, according to Wikipedia, and it’s sold in three common types:
- white button mushrooms
- portobello mushrooms
- cremini mushrooms
The difference between these popular varieties of mushrooms is just age. The white button mushrooms, those very familiar kitchen staples, are simply the youngest variety. They have been cultivated, too, for that white color and soft texture. In the wild these mushrooms are usually browner.
The portobello is the most mature mushroom of these three; it’s really just an overgrown white mushroom! Portobellos are left to grow for longer, until they have spread out into that delicious meaty cap.
The cremini mushroom is the same variety as the white button mushroom and the portobello mushroom, but is between the two in terms of age. It’s a moderately mature version of the white button mushroom, which is why it has a similar flavor. It’s younger than the portobello, but still related, which is why these are sometimes sold as “baby bella” or “baby portobello” mushrooms.
Cremini mushrooms’ slightly more mature state means that they have a browner color, firmer texture, and better flavor than the younger white mushrooms. We use them frequently in stews and soups, since we find that they hold up better in liquid.
Here are a few favorite cremini mushroom recipes:
(Images: Faith Durand)