Thursday, November 10, 2005

Breaking News!

So, I was thinking about mushrooms the other day. All those packaged mushrooms in grocery stores-- where do they come from? Do people somewhere cultivate fields of mushrooms?
And because I have the leisure to research any question that pops in my sweet head, I googled it.

Alright, first the facts: the Netherlands is the biggest exporter of button mushrooms, and the third most important exporter of mushrooms in general after China, big surprise, and someone else I forget. Sorry.

But this is the breaking news: you know portabello mushrooms? And crimini mushrooms? Both of which cost more than your average homely white button. BUT! They are the same mushroom, same latin name, everything! They are just allowed to mature longer, so they grow larger and browner. I refer you to if you don't believe me.

Who the heck knew?

Portabellos are the red bell peppers of mushrooms!



...then howcome I can buy "baby portabellas" that are the same size as the white button mushrooms but they are brown?

angeline said...

Alexe, once again, you have me googling and learning random facts about cool things...
So, portabellas and button mushrooms are the same species, but different strains.
(strain:Biology. A group of organisms of the same species, having distinctive characteristics but not usually considered a separate breed or variety: a superior strain of wheat; a smooth strain of bacteria. )
So does the pepper analogy still work? I'm not sure. I think it's tricky because mushrooms are fungus, not plants - so you can't plant seeds and watch them grow. But I guess you can plant spores and see what happens...
I think we need a fungus expert.

nick said...

i hade mushrooms in amsterdam once, and by once i mean twice.

they were delicious.

and so were the penguins that followed me around the rest of the day (s).