Portabello means "beautiful door" in Italian, or, if you prefer the feminine portabella, "beautiful port." No one is quite sure why portabello mushrooms are called portabellos. The name was chosen sometime in the 1980s in order to glamorize the mushroom, which was so unpopular at the time that farmers often threw them away.
More facts about portabellos:
- Portabello mushrooms were created in the United States, not Italy. They are a variation of the cremini mushroom, which originated in Italy.
- There is no definitive spelling for "portabello" as a type of mushroom. Accepted spellings include portobello, portobella, portabella and portabello.
- One portabello mushroom has more potassium than a banana.