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What does "Portabello" Mean?

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.
Discussion Comments
By anon295331 — On Oct 05, 2012

My mother randomly told me to look up portabello. I think they were thinking about the mushroom, maybe. It is interesting to know, though, my mom made me leave my game.

By anon161413 — On Mar 19, 2011

I have an unshakable dislike of the portabello mushroom, thanks to an overdose of same as sandwich fillings, i.e., hamburgers, in the 1960s and 70s. I wish you well if they still taste good to you.

By bookworm — On Mar 19, 2011

Portobello mushroom sandwiches are so good. I am glad the mushrooms became popular and all it took was a name change.

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