I am under the impression that crimini mushrooms are baby portobello mushrooms. If this is true, do they taste the same or do they have a different taste?
I believe they are the same mushroom, just picked a little earlier than the Portobello's and a little later than the button mushrooms. So I guess the flavour is going to fall somewhere between the two, also!
They're the same mushroom. Just a smaller less mature version. The larger ones have a more earthy taste with larger gills.
I get a little mixed up in the mushroom department. It's something I'm working on. My favorite market packages "baby bellas", which are, anybody would assume, baby portabellas. They are about the size of button mushrooms, only darker, and with a better flavor, IMO. Don't understand why I see them called both potobellas and portobellas as the Italians are usually quite definitive about sex.
Like skittle, I could use enlightenment.
Yikes, kindly read "portobellas and portobellos".
Portobellos/Portabellas (both names are in common use) are indeed simply large, mature creminis. Both creminis and white button mushrooms are the same species, Agaricus bisporus, just different colored strains.
Portobellos was the original name given to the big creminis in the 1980s, not by Italians but by English-speaking food marketers. Portobellos became trendy, and now the small cremini are often sold as "baby bellas."
For what it's worth, the Mushroom Council, a trade group, now calls the big creminis "Portabellas"--but also has recipes on its web site for "Portobellos." So they're about as inconsistent as everyone else. Misleadingly, they also call the Portabella a "relative" of the cremini, when it's actually exactly the same thing.
Wow, sfmiller, thank you! By the way, I sent a question to my pal in Florence, asking why "crimini" just happens to mean "criminals" in Italiano. "English-speaking food marketers", perhaps?
I appreciate the input from all!