Mushrooms have long been used as a cuisine delicacy that completes almost every dish it accompanies. Like most fungi, mushrooms exist in thousands of varieties; some good, some bad, and others fantastic. Therefore, if you're considering enhancing your cuisine palette with tasty mushroom delicacies, we recommend cremini mushrooms. You've probably stumbled upon these soft brown mushrooms at your local grocery store. From their freshness to their texture and taste, we explore every tiny detail involving cremini mushrooms; what they are, and how to use them to spice up your dishes.
What Are Cremini Mushrooms?
Cremini mushrooms (or Crimini) are a species of Agaricus bisporus. These mushroom varieties include portobello and button mushrooms. Creminis are right in between portobello and button mushrooms, in both size and texture. However, they are allowed to ripen much longer than button mushrooms. This influences their taste and texture into a more dynamic and more robust flavor. Button mushrooms can be regarded as infants while criminis and portobellos can be referred to as teenagers and adults, respectively. Some even refer to cremini mushrooms as baby portobellos due to their smaller size and similar features.
Out of the three, cremini mushrooms have an overall richer color and essence. They have a chestnut or dark brown cap coloration patterned with a white stem compared to button mushrooms. Fresh creminis have completely sheathed gills. When split in two, you should notice a white inside with visible gills. Although most field mushrooms from the Agaricus bisporus species can be found in the wild, we strongly discourage you from foraging them outdoors. Instead, you can purchase a fresh batch from your local vendor. This will prevent you from picking closely resembled shrooms, such as Amanita mushrooms, which are toxic and similar to criminis.
How They Are Primarily Used
The Agaricus bisporus mushroom species account for nearly 90% of the overall mushroom production within the United States, including cremini's, making them a prevalent ingredient, and for a good reason. Their creamy and delicate texture makes them a fitting addition to any culinary dish. Because creminis possess low moisture, they cook evenly and brown well when sauteed in sizzling butter. Sauteing them means they'll be cooked enough to add to soups. Their stems are non-toxic and edible. You can either dice them into chunks for your soup or throw them into your omelet to make a delicious blend of egg and mushroom.
Furthermore, cremini mushrooms blend well with other dishes, such as pork tenderloin, quesadilla, steak, vegetable burgers, and salads. Aside from their primary use as an ingredient in culinary dishes, cremini mushrooms also provide a list of essential benefits, such as:
Boosts immune system
Controls blood pressure
Has few calories
Helps with weight loss
Excellent source of vitamin D, iron, potassium, and zinc
Helps control estrogen levels
What Makes Them Different?
Cremini mushrooms are different from white buttons and portobello mushrooms when it comes to age, color, and maturity. White mushrooms are younger, smaller, softer, and whiter than creminis. On the other hand, portobellos are more mature, browner, and larger than cremini mushrooms. However, where both mushrooms fail in texture, size, or flavor, criminis are a perfect blend of both worlds. They are medium-sized, robust, and meatier in texture, making them ideal for meat and even vegetarian dishes.
Cremini mushrooms are an ideal ingredient to add to your culinary arsenal, whether you're looking to upgrade your cooking skills or try out something new.