Portabella Mushroom Homepage
Welcome to Portabella Mushroom Dot Net, the number one spot on the internet to learn all about the wonderful fungus known as the portabella mushroom.
Portabella Mushroom Basics
The portabella is an edible mushroom that is totally safe for consumption and even boasts some medical benefits. This amazing member of the Fungi kingdom is native to most of Europe and the continent of North America, however it is now cultivated all around the world, in almost 75 different countries! It’s the most widely used mushroom for cooking and other culinary uses in the entire world.
Visually Identifying Portabella Mushrooms
Portabella mushrooms don’t have a very distinct look to them, which is why you must really know what it is you are looking at before you attempt to simply pick a portabella in the wild. The underside of the mushroom’s cap, the big convex and oval cone on top of the stem, is called the hymenium. It features lots of fins called gills, which are covered by a veil until the mushroom is fully matured.
At this point, the hymenium is free to drop its spores in order to spawn more and more portabella. Where the veil attaches to the stem, you will find a bulbous ring that stands out visually. One way to confirm that you are actually dealing with a portabella mushroom is to cut the cap from the stem and place it on a piece of paper so that it drops its spores onto the paper. This is called creating a spore print, and if it is brown, that is just more confidence you can have that you have actually found a portabella mushroom.
The cap, which is technically called pileus, is a very light brownish and grey color. It is more broad than a lot of other mushroom species and has scales versus other smoother caps. The gills change from a pink into a dark brown color as the portabella ages. If you are seeing these in the wild, you are probably standing in a field or at least in grass during the spring, summer, or fall. You won’t find them thriving in the winter. You are more likely to find them growing in manure piles than on the bare ground.
Caution When Identifying a Portabella Mushroom
If you are off with your buddies having a great time hunting mushrooms, it’s easy to throw caution to the wind and feel confident about your finds. However, you should know that portabella mushrooms looks a lot like the “destroying angel” mushroom, which is poisonous to the point of being very deadly! When they are both young, they are almost indistinguishable from each other. Not until they are older will you notice the difference between the gill colors. The biggest thing that will tip you off is that the destroying angel grows in moss in the woods, as opposed to the grassy fields.
Names of the Portabella Mushroom
Classified scientifically as the Agaricus bisporus, it is probably the most common mushroom on the planet, which is why it is also called the common mushroom.
The common mushroom goes by many other names, including the table, button, white, crimini, and brown mushroom. These names are common in differing parts of the world, which accounts for all of the variety.
It also has a long history of taxonomy, meaning many people discovered and attempted to describe it in their various tomes of botany knowledge. Talking about this in depth is too much for the homepage, but if you know the many lay names and the Latin binomial name, you will be in good shape.
Just know that a lot of these names refer to different growth stages of the mushroom. For instance, the button and white mushroom names refer to a baby mushroom that hasn’t even opened it’s cap up. When it is fully grown, it goes by similar versions of the same name, whether that is portabella, portobello, or portabello.
Cultivating the Portabella Mushroom
The basics of cultivating portabella mushrooms are the same as any other kind of mushroom. You can either collect spores from a spore print and inoculate a substrate, or you can transplant a portion of the mycelium network to the substrate, which will actually save some time waiting for inoculation and the growth of the mycelium. Sterilizing your spawn and substrate can drastically reduce any risk of contamination. Check out the basics of mushroom cultivation to learn more.
Portabella Mushrooms Medicinal Value
The portabella has a lot of needed vitamins and minerals in it that are very beneficial to the human diet. These range from potassium, phosphorus, sodium, antioxidants, and linoleic acid. They have a great amount of vitamin D in relative comparison. Of course, always verify any medical claim with your own doctor or professional, but there was a study recently that claimed there was a significant reduction in the incidence of breast cancer correlated with women who ate mushrooms daily. Combined with green tea, the reduction in the risk of having cancer of the breast was almost destroyed completely. It should also be noted that mushrooms themselves have a small amount of carcinogens in them that are reduced to nil when cooked. It shouldn’t be a concern but you should also know all there is to know about mushrooms.
Culinary Uses of Portabella Mushrooms
These are cooked and used in dishes all around the world! If you do not purchase them dry or dehydrate them, then you must store them properly. Using a paper bag is the best idea so that they do become a bit drier, which reduces the risk of rot. You can also put them in plastic bags, but you need to wrap them in paper towels to at least absorb some of the moisture first.
If you are ready to cook with them in the moment, please clean them first, as you are aware they grow in dirt and manure. Rinse them as well as you can of any particles under running water first, and then physically wipe them clean with a wet towel. The quickest way to get rid of a lot of the dirt and whatnot, just cut off the very bottom base of the stem.
Now that you are ready to cook with them, you have options. You can grill them, broil them, oven-roast them, and even cook them on a skillet. If you grill them or broil them, you can brush them first with oil and season them however you wish. You can use salt and pepper, or if you want to get fancy, you can use dressings and sauces, ranging form Italian, teriyaki, or barbecue.
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