Crimini mushrooms are one of three types of button mushrooms. These are edible mushrooms that are commonly used in meals and sauces. They are filled with more nutrients than the other button mushrooms and also have a stronger taste, making them popular among dishes that otherwise lack flavor.
Crimini mushrooms have a coffee color. They are a type of button mushroom that has an appearance similar to an umbrella. Other names for crimini mushrooms are Baby Bella, Roman, Italian or brown mushrooms.
Crimini mushrooms are richer than most mushrooms and are full of more nutrients. They are the highest in selenium and they also have a lot of vitamin B2, B5, copper, tryptophan, potassium and phosphorus. They have smaller, but still significant, amounts of zinc, manganese, vitamin B1, B6, protein, folate, dietary fiber, magnesium, iron and calcium. Crimini mushrooms have cancer-fighting properties. They are helpful in alleviating rheumatoid arthritis. Several nutrients found in crimini mushrooms help with metabolism. The zinc found in crimini mushrooms helps with immune function. The niacin in crimini mushrooms helps prevent Alzheimer's disease.
Mushrooms were originally organisms that lived exclusively in water, but mushrooms eventually developed specialized structures that allowed them to avoid losing moisture, which prevented them from drying out. Crimini mushrooms were consumed by hunter-gatherers throughout history. Egyptians often consumed them believing they could grant immortality. The Romans believed that crimini mushrooms were fit for consumption by the gods. Many cultures have believed that crimini mushrooms can give a person strength.
Crimini mushrooms are a part of the fungi kingdom, which is a kingdom of mostly multicellular heterotrophic organisms. Though some might confuse crimini mushrooms for plants, they do not engage in photosynthesis and instead have to acquire nutrients from outside themselves. Crimini mushrooms have mycelium, which are small threads that find decomposing matter and absorb nutrients into the fungi. This absorption is performed by the mycelium first releasing digestive juices that break down organic matter so that it is easily absorbed by the crimini. These organisms reproduce by releasing spores that are dispersed throughout several given areas and that germinate when the conditions are optimal for growth. These spores are created through sexual reproduction in which hyphae fuse in order to develop zygotes, which then morph into zygospores and are carried away by forces such as the wind. The part of the crimini mushroom that is consumed is the structure through which the spores are released.
Crimini mushrooms can be used in sauces. However, these mushrooms often turn sauces black. Those who do not want to change the color of the sauce can cut the gills out of the crimini mushroom. However, doing so will change the taste of the mushroom.