The Portabella mushroom is one of the most imposing mushrooms in size. It has a rounded, earthen tan flat cap with near black gills on its underside. Its stem is thick, white and edible. The Portabella mushroom has a very memorable, rich and meaty texture and flavor, which it retains even after cooking.
Portabella mushrooms are available year-round.
The Portabella mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, is also known as Agaric cultivé, Champignon de Paris, and Cultivated Mushroom. It is a common mushroom that can be simply defined as a larger, earthier and mature form of the common white mushroom. Other mushrooms associated in the life span of a Portabella mushroom are button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, baby Portobella, baby bella, mini bella, Portabellini and Brown mushroom. There is some debate on whether Portabella or Portobella is the correct spelling of this type of mushroom. In fact both versions are accepted, but the Mushroom Council decided to go with Portabella to provide some consistency across the market.
Portobella mushrooms, like all fungus varieties, are one of the only natural sources of vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D they contain depends on the amount of exposure to ultraviolet light. Some cultivators expose the mushrooms they grow to additional ultraviolet light in order to increase the amount of vitamin D in their Portobella mushrooms. Portobella mushrooms are a rich source of copper and selenium; up to 28% of an individual’s recommended dietary allowance can be obtained from Portobella mushrooms. The fully mature Agaricus bisporus is also a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin.
Portabella mushrooms are versatile because of their size. They have a "meaty" texture and can be substituted for other proteins. Use in soups and stews, baked pasta or rice dishes, as a beef substitute or in salads. Prepare whole by grilling or stuffing. Pair with fresh herbs, fresh cow's milk cheeses, tomato or cream-based sauces, leafy greens, garlic and onions. Mushroom caps should be kept dry and refrigerated until ready to use; they will keep for up to a week.