Cremini Mushrooms: Recipes, History, and Facts

Cremini mushrooms are found at a variety of grocery stores and farmer’s markets. You’ll usually find them next to the more common white button mushrooms. While they’re usually a little more expensive, they’re the worth the price. With delicious flavor, versatile cooking options, and plenty of deliciousness to boot, these cute little mushrooms can pack a serious punch in your next dish.

Read on to learn more about the famous cremini mushroom, including its origin tale, frequently-asked questions, and how you can incorporate them into your next meal.

cremini mushrooms

Frequently-Asked Questions and Fast Facts about Cremini Mushrooms


Here are some of the more interesting facts and common questions asked about cremini mushrooms:

  • Are all mushrooms typically bought at the supermarket from the same family?

    • Answer: Yes! In fact, all three of the most common supermarket varieties, including the Portobello mushroom, cremini mushroom, and white button mushroom come from the same family – Agaricus bisporus.
  • What are the differences between the different mushrooms?

    • Answer: The only major difference is the age of the mushroom. For example, the white button mushroom tends to skew younger. They may also have been cultivated specifically for their color and texture. Mushrooms found in the wild tend to have a brown skin. Portobello ranks as the oldest with the cremini mushroom in between these two in age.
  • Are there any other common names for cremini mushrooms at the supermarket?

    • Answer: Yes, there are a few. If you’re looking for cremini mushrooms at your local grocery store, they may be branded as “baby Portobello” mushrooms. Just something to keep an eye out for if you’re looking to incorporate these mushrooms into your next meal!
  • Which kinds of dishes are best served with cremini mushrooms as opposed to other varieties?

    • Answer: Many dishes can make use of cremini mushrooms. By themselves, they are a perfect fit for a pan-cooked side. You can also corporate cremini mushrooms into stews and soups. There are even stuffed cremini mushroom recipes that allow you to incorporate all kinds of stuffing.
  • Are cremini mushrooms good for you?

    • Answer: The answer is absolutely yes. Cremini mushrooms – like their younger and older brothers and sisters like Portobello mushrooms – feature a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals that give your body a boost in all aspects. Additionally, the entire cremini mushroom is edible and there are no inedible parts like with the Portobello mushroom.
  • How did cremini mushrooms get their name?

    • Answer: With a name like cremini, you might expect that cremini mushrooms come from Italy or were initially produced there and sold to countries like the United States. The reality is that cremini is simply a marketing name and that they otherwise have no connection to Italy or Europe.
  • How do you clean cremini mushrooms?

    • Answer: As with all mushrooms, you should clean cremini mushrooms with a damp paper towel or a mushroom brush that you can purchase at a specialty retailer or cooking supply store online (or brick and mortar). You should also rinse the mushrooms with cool water, but do not soak them!
  • Can you eat raw cremini mushrooms?

    • Answer: Any mushrooms that you purchase at the grocery store may be eaten raw or cooked – it’s up to you! If you do decide to eat cremini mushrooms raw, you may want to remove the stem as it can sometimes be difficult to chew. You can also leave it on for flavor if you desire – it’s ultimately your choice.
  • What kinds of dishes can you create with cremini mushrooms?

    • Answer: All kinds! There are a variety of recipes that call for cremini mushrooms specifically due to their balance of maturity and size (especially compared to large Portobello mushrooms). You can use them in stews, soups, as a side, or served with the main course such as meat or fish.
  • How do you cook cremini mushrooms?

    • Answer: Once again, the answer is up to you. You don’t necessarily have to cook them, either – they can be eaten raw in a variety of dishes such as with ramen. If you decide to cook cremini mushrooms, you can sauté them or incorporate them into a wider dish and cook together.
  • Can you eat the stem of a cremini mushroom?

    • Answer: Yes, every part of a cremini mushroom is edible. That includes the stem, so feel free to eat if you wish! However, be aware that the stems of cremini mushrooms can often be a little bit tough to chew on, so you’ll want to make sure that you can fully chew it. The flavor may not also be great depending on the freshness.
  • What are the exact nutrients found in cremini mushrooms?

    • Answer: You can find a variety of nutrients in cremini mushrooms, including copper, selenium, phosphorus, all kinds of B vitamins such as niacin and pantothenic acid, and minerals like potassium, zinc, and manganese.
  • How many calories are in a cremini mushroom?

    • Answer: The typical cremini mushroom should have about 4 calories, so feel free to eat them to your heart’s content if you’re on a diet! Mushrooms are a great, low-calories source of vital minerals, and they can also make a dish even more delicious when served on the side or as part of the main course.

Here are some more fast facts about cremini mushrooms:

  • The entire cremini mushroom is edible, unlike the mature Portobello with its inedible stem.
  • The family to which cremini mushrooms belong – Agaricus bisporus – accounts for almost all of the mushroom production in the United States due to its long harvesting season and excellent commercial potential.
  • The nutrition value of cremini mushrooms is not up for debate. It has over 15 different vitamins and minerals necessary to a healthy life. You’ll also find a polysaccharide in this mushroom family that can prevent the growth of the bacteria that’s responsible for problems such as gastric cancer, stomach ulcers, and gastritis.
  • In China and Korea, people have historically used the mushroom family to increase milk production in mothers who are breastfeeding their infants. The Agaricus bisporus family has also been found in Chinese medicine, where it’s used to regulate the body’s innate energies in holistic medicine.
  • Originally, cremini mushrooms were cultivated in the catacombs beneath Paris as they provided the right environmental conditions for the growth of them.
  • Today, 50% of the mushrooms grown in the United States are found in Pennsylvania.

The Key Differences Between Cremini, Portobello, and Other Common Mushroom Varieties


In general, there are only a few differences between the different mushroom varieties. Portobello mushrooms and cremini mushrooms are more or less the same mushroom, but Portobello mushrooms are typically larger with more exposed gills.

That’s because the Portobello mushroom has more time to ripen before being picked, whereas the cremini is smaller and typically the gills are covered with mushroom skin. You’ll want to look out for the gills, because if they are uncovered then the mushroom may not be as fresh as it should be per regulations.

The white button mushroom lacks the flavors of the cremini and Portobello mushroom varieties. As such, you should prefer the cremini and Portobello varieties if you desire a more intense and rich flavor in your dish.

A Delicious and Fast Recipe: Pan-Cooked Mushrooms


If you’re looking to incorporate cremini mushrooms with a main course such as chicken, pasta, or fish, then this pan-cooked cremini mushroom recipe will help you to produce delicious and juicy mushrooms that will complement the flavors of the entrée. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of cremini mushrooms. Make sure that you rinse and wipe them dry prior to cooking.
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra-Virgin olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • 2 minced shallots.
  • Up to 4 garlic cloves for taste (minced).
  • 2 Teaspoons of fresh thyme or rosemary.
  • ¼ cup of dry white wine.

Preparation

  1. Cut the cremini mushrooms into thick slices and heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wait for the oil to reach the desired temperature for cooking. Add mushrooms and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Then add the garlic, herbs, and shallots, as well as the remaining oil to the pan.
  4. Stir everything together and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the white wine and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated completely.
  5. Finally, remove from heat and serve.

Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms


For a delicious entrée, check out this stuffed cremini mushroom recipe. If you like spicy food, cheese, and plenty of seasonings, then this is the right meal for you!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms. Make sure to wash and stem the mushrooms beforehand.
  • 1 large jalapeno, minced.
  • 1 small onion, chopped.
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese. Keep some in reserve if you need it.
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped.
  • ¼ cup of Italian breadcrumbs.
  • ½ cup of butter or margarine.
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning.

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix your onion, garlic, and jalapeno with ¼ cup of parmesan cheese into your butter.
  3. Season with salt and pepper on your bake sheet. Fill caps with mixture.
  4. Then sprinkle remaining cheese over the mushrooms.
  5. Afterward, sprinkle breadcrumbs over the mushrooms.
  6. Finally, bake for 15 minutes and broil to crisp topping if not satisfied.

 

Featured image: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic, Danielle Scott via https://commons.wikimedia.org.

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