If you have never seen them before, you may not know what cremini mushrooms are. Despite these mushrooms a little more pricey, it is worth it, as they contain many benefits and flavor.
You may also think that cremini mushrooms are the same as Portobello, and technically, they are. Yet, cremini is often thought of as the immature, younger version of the full-grown Portobello.
So, why buy and eat cremini mushrooms?
9 Facts you need to know about these delicious fungi
Fact #1: It is an intermediate mushroom
The cremini mushroom is referred to as an “intermediate mushroom”. This means that it is older than a white button mushroom but not as mature as the Portobello. That is why it is often called “baby bella” or a “baby Portobello” mushroom.
Because it is intermediate, you can also find it more easily than some more obscure mushrooms. Try your local grocery store, a farmer’s market, or the organic supermarket.
Fact #2: The flavor is complex but easy to use with other ingredients
Because cremini mushrooms are not as mature as Portobello, they have a milder flavor and softer texture. The color is brown and the flavor is a bit sweet and earthy, which goes incredibly well with other ingredients.
Some soups and stews use cremini because they keep their structure, but soften up enough to create a good texture.
Fact #3: They are incredibly healthy
Just like their counterpart varieties, cremini mushrooms are very nutritious, so they are always a good addition to any meal you make.
This variety of fungi is high in B vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. These last compounds reduce inflammation pathways in your body. Also, they provide a good amount of the recommended daily intake of copper, potassium, and phosphorus.
Fact #4: They give you a good amount of fiber
Obtaining fiber that is both delicious and nutritious is hard, but cremini mushrooms have a good amount of soluble fiber.
This type of fiber will help your body maintain a healthy gut and regular movement. It also lowers blood cholesterol levels by moving bile out of your body.
Fact #5: They are medium-sized and versatile
For all things big, use Portobello mushrooms, such as burgers or sandwiches. However, when it comes to a sauce, a salad, or a stir-fry, cremini mushrooms are much better.
These medium-sized mushrooms are chopped easily, but you can use them whole, without disturbing the texture. They pack a lot of flavors and can still remain bite-sized.
Fact #6: They should be firm and dry
Picking the correct mushroom is an essential part of the cooking process, but one that is often ignored or mistaken. To correctly pick out cremini mushrooms, you need to pay attention to the color, which should be bright brown and tan.
The texture should be firm, and the skin should look dry. If these mushrooms look shriveled and glossy, they are probably old and about to go bad. Also, you may want to give them a quick sniff to ensure they smell earthy.
Fact #7: They are very easy to cook
You can prepare cremini mushrooms in many different ways. Try cooking them whole when you sauté your vegetables, as they will hold their shape. You can also chop them up into small pieces, and use fat to simmer over low heat.
Baked cremini taste delicious as well. Finally, like their more mature Portobello complement, they can be stuffed with any cheese.
Fact #8: They will last for a relatively long time
Unlike the younger white mushrooms, cremini will last longer when stored correctly. You should keep them in a paper bag or an open bowl covered with a paper towel for efficient respiration.
If you want, place them outside of the refrigerator too, but make sure to keep them whole and in a cool, dry place.
Fact #9: They complement meat dishes
Because the flavor is not as complex, but still earthy, cremini mushrooms go very well with meat dishes. Some great options to cook with cremini include beef, chicken, pork, game, and seafood. You can also use thick sauces, like gravy, or even add red wine for more aromas.
What are you waiting for? Go find cremini mushrooms today.
These mushrooms are not just your basic white buttons. Instead, they provide your meal with more flavor and texture but will not overpower the rest of the ingredients.
Some great ways to use them include fried rice, Marsala chicken, fish en papillote, and beef stroganoff. Try cremini mushrooms the next time you go to the grocery store, as you will notice the difference immediately.
Cremini is a perfect pairing for starchy vegetables or meat, but they can also be the stars of the show with a good cheese.
It’s time to add cremini mushrooms to your kitchen!