I've been eating a ton of "baby bella" mushrooms lately—like, every morning for breakfast in an egg-white omelet—and this morning after breakfast I decided to look up their nutritional value, because sometimes I like to feel good about what I'm eating. I started my search thinking they were baby portobello mushrooms (because their label said "baby bella"), but I quickly learned that they are actually called "cremini" mushrooms. And then I got confused, wondering why they are called "baby bellas" and whether or not they are actually baby portobello mushrooms. None of it made sense. Finally, I discovered some information about button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms that blew my mind: THEY ARE ALL THE SAME TYPE OF MUSHROOM! Did you know this? Am I the only one who didn't know this?
What's the Difference, a newsletter written by Brette Warshaw, tackled this issue, explaining:
They are all Agaricus bisporus, in fact, just different ages: button mushrooms, which are white, are the toddlers; cremini mushrooms, which are brown, are the teenagers; and portobellos, which are brown and much larger versions of their younger selves, are the adults. (You know how creminis are sometimes labeled as "baby bellas?" They're literally baby 'bellos!)
The newsletter also provides some interesting facts about the 3-in-1 mushroom, including:
As the mushrooms mature, they lose some of their water content, making portobellos the most flavorful of the bunch (followed by the creminis, then the buttons).
Read more facts about the mushrooms here.