Great ingredients make for great meals. Whenever you can, use the highest quality supplies for your recipes. The flavor difference will always come through in your finished dish.
If there is an ingredient that you are not familiar with, check our Ingredient section. There are pages and pages of information about the ingredients used in my recipes.
Crimini mushrooms are marketed under many names, including Baby Bella, Roman, Italian, Brown or Classic Brown mushrooms. They are similar in size to white mushrooms but are a light cocoa color and have a firmer texture. They are much more flavorful than white mushrooms, having a richer, earthy taste that activates the umami taste buds. Their flavor has often been referred to as "meaty".
Portobello mushrooms are actually large crimini mushrooms and, because of the savory meaty flavor, have become popular in the last few years. As mushrooms mature, the ring that protects the spores breaks and as a result there is loss of moisture. Young mushrooms contain as much as 80% water and, as they lose water (as portobellos do by having their gills exposed), the savory mushroom flavor is increasingly concentrated.
If you are going to use portobellos in a recipe that has liquid or a sauce, scraping the gills from the mushroom before cooking will keep the sauce from turning black. Some taste will be lost, but there will still be plenty of rich mushroom flavor.
4 ounces mushrooms = 28 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 0 mono fat, 3g protein, 0g carbohydrates, 4mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol
See also: Mushrooms