Guest Author - Jason Hodge
When exploring how to select cremini mushrooms [aka. criminis, portabellinis and baby bellas] there are three things you need to keep in mind:
With relatively high levels of your B vitamins like: riboflavin, niacin, folic and pantothenic acid, not to mention B6 and minerals like selenium and copper, cremini mushrooms are a pretty good choice for your vegetarian diet when you're needing these vital nutrients and great flavor. Packed with glyconutrients [nutritional sugars or saccharides, proteins and or fats] and other health and immune boosting nutrients, cremini mushrooms range in flavor from your mild and delicate to your more meaty and robust. I like them because they not only taste great, but they can also satisfy your palate when you want a nice portabella mushroom without the bigness of it.
Did you know that the cremini mushroom is just a young version of the famous portabella mushroom? and that they have been linked to boosting cognitive function?
It's true! Now on to the selection process of your cremini mushrooms.
The look is important for a few reasons. It's an indicator of flavor, freshness, age and application. While selecting your cremini mushrooms make sure that you look for a few things:
1. The health of your cremini is important. Make sure they're void or free of wrinkles or slimy spots and are not bruised.
2. Make sure they're fresh. Find out from your farmer or grocer how old or better yet, when the mushrooms they're selling were harvested and how they were stored.
3. Note whether the underside of the cap is closed [has a covering, not exposing the dark brown gills] or open. Closed is for a more delicate flavor because it's younger and the flavor profile hasn't yet developed.
The feel of your cremini mushrooms are equally important. Make sure they're plump and firm to the touch. If they're soft move on.
The application of your creminis is the blueprint by which you choose the type you get.
1. Are you cooking right away and you want a bolder flavor? If so, purchase the creminis with the deep brown gills showing. If a milder flavor is what you're looking for then purchase the creminis with no gills showing on the underside of your mushrooms.
2. Are you in the area where you buy your mushrooms and you won't be able to get back their for the day when you'll be using mushrooms in your cooking? If so, then you'll want to get thecreminis with the gills not showing and then store them in your refrigerator until you're ready to use them. They'll store longer when you get them younger like this.
Whatever your reason for getting your creminis there's a method to approaching your selection and purchase of them that will deliver your best results. Use these three areas as markers for your future cremini mushroom purchases.
As always, it's been my pleasure sharing with you. Until next time...