Agaricus bisporus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Agaricus bisporus Mushroom
The most commonly known and eaten mushroom across the world. People in over 70 countries farm it. In maturity, the mushroom is christened Portobello.
Apart from the Common Mushroom, its other baptismal names are:
Swiss Brown Mushroom
Roman Brown Mushroom
Italian Brown Mushroom and Italian Mushroom
This long list signals the possibility of other titles out there. It should not be surprising, though. It is just in keeping with the long list of places that the Agaricus bisporus has mushroomed.
Agaricus bisporus originated in the grasslands of North America and Europe. When growing in a natural habitat, the mushroom looks greyish brown. When young, its cap is hemispherical. It, however, flattens out as it grows.
Great care should be taken when picking mushrooms especially in the wild. The Common Mushroom should not be confused with the very dangerous and poisonous Destroying Angel.
The main distinguishing features between the two are the colour of the gills and the mushroom base. Whereas the gills of the killer mushroom are suspiciously snow white, those of Agaricus bisporus are pink or brown. Also at the base of the mushroom, the poisonous mushroom has a cup or volva, while the Common Mushroom does not have.
2.5–14 cm, convex to nearly round at first, expanding to broadly convex or nearly flat; dry; bald or with pressed-down fibers or very small scales; white in some cultivated varieties, brown in others; often bruising pinkish to reddish when rubbed.
Free from the stem; close; short-gills frequent; pinkish to pink at first, becoming dark brown to nearly black.
2–7 cm long; 1–2.5 cm thick; more or less equal; bald or with small scales; white, often bruising reddish to brownish; with a thin ring that sometimes disappears in maturity.
White and firm; usually bruising and staining pinkish to reddish, then slowly brownish.
Agaricus bisporus Health Benefits
Mushrooms, in general, have been widely regarded as having a host of beneficial vitamins and nutrients that when eaten help to heal and improve the body – and the White Button mushroom is no exception.
In addition to providing various nutritional benefits, there has been some research into the potential for Agaricus Bisporous to help reduce estrogen levels by blocking the aromatase enzyme in the body.
Aromatase is the enzyme that is responsible for most of the estrogen production in your body. By taking an aromatase inhibitor, which prevents aromatase from doing its job, you can effectively control or lower the amounts of estrogen in your body.
According to this research, "natural compounds such as flavones and isoflavones are inhibitors of aromatase". Because of this, vegetables that contain these said phytochemicals, including Agaricus bisporus were "screened for their ability to inhibit aromatase activity in a human placental microsome assay".
What that means is that in that study, researchers found that white button mushroom extract was able to suppress aromatase activity in a dose-dependent manner. The more extract, the more aromatase was suppressed, the less estrogen produced.
Blocking aromatase activity also has a secondary function besides lowering estrogen levels. It can also help raise testosterone levels!
Since aromatase creates estrogen by breaking down testosterone, when you prevent the aromatase from creating estrogen, you increase the amount of free testosterone floating around in your body. Theoretically, that is.
In another study, it was suggested that "the physiologically relevant aromatase inhibitors in mushrooms are most likely conjugated linoleic acid and its derivatives".
Meaning that due to the white button extract having high levels of CLA inside of it, that is what was responsible for its anti-estrogenic activities.
Agaricus bisporus Side Effects
Operation: Agaricus mushroom may reduce blood glucose. There’s some worry that it may hinder blood sugar control during operation. Quit using agaricus mushroom at least 14 days before a planned operation.
Liver Illness: There’s some worry that liver disease might be caused by agaricus mushroom or allow it to be worse. Do not use it if you have liver disease.
Maternity and Breastfeeding: Not enough is known regarding agaricus mushroom’s use during breastfeeding and maternity. Stay on the safe side and prevent use.
Agaricus bisporus Medicinal Properties
Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity
The antimicrobial effect of extracts of A.bisporus was tested against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and one species of yeast. The Gram-positive bacterium is more prominent. This might be due to the influence of temperature that disturbed the compound which is responsible for the activity. The ethanol extracts of A.bisporus exhibited anti-candidal activity against C.albicanc.
The lectin from the common mushroom Agaricus bisporus, the most popular edible species in western countries, has potent antiproliferative effects on human epithelial cancer cells, without any apparent cytotoxicity. The lectin from Agaricus bisporus (ABL) has antiproliferative effects on a range of cell types. ABL caused a dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation and lattice contraction without significant toxicity. ABL might be especially useful where subtle modification of healing is needed, as in eye surgery for glaucoma.
The genoprotective effect
A. bisporus fruit bodies prevented H2O2-induced oxidative damage to cellular DNA A. bisporus is associated with a heat-labile protein, designated FIIb-1, present in the fruit body and which has been identified as tyrosinase.
The genoprotective effect associated with cold water extracts of the edible mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, is correlated with tyrosinase activity found in the mushroom fruit bodies.
The genoprotective effect of A. bisporus tyrosinase is dependent upon the enzymic hydroxylation of tyrosine to L-DOPA and subsequent conversion of this metabolite to dopaquinone..
Some studies have revealed that raw A. bisporus - along with some other edible mushrooms contains small amounts of carcinogenic hydrazine derivatives, including agaritine and gyromitrin. However, the research also noted when cooked, these compounds were reduced significantly.
Consumption of the Agaricus species mushrooms has increased considerably in Japan as the Japanese have become accustomed to Western cooking.
The Agaricus species mushroom contains hydrazine derivatives known as Agaritine. Bladder implantation was performed to test the carcinogenic potential of the Agaricus species mushroom which contains large quantities of Agaritine.
The methanol extract of fresh mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) and synthesized Agaritine were found to be significantly carcinogenic on the mouse bladder epithelium by the bladder implantation test with a probability of less than 0.01 ([url=https://pharmacologyonline.silae.it/files/newsletter/2010/vol2/55.Mirunalini.pdf]Source PDF).
Agaricus bisporus Classification
The common mushroom has a complicated taxonomic history. It was first described by English botanist Mordecai Cubitt Cooke in his 1871 Handbook of British Fungi, as a variety (var. hortensis) of Agaricus campestris.
Danish mycologist Jakob Emanuel Lange later reviewed a cultivar specimen, and dubbed it Psalliota hortensis var. bispora in 1926. In 1938, it was promoted to species status and renamed Psalliota bispora.
Emil Imbach (1897–1970) imparted the current scientific name of the species, Agaricus bisporus, after the genus Psalliota was renamed to Agaricus in 1946. The specific epithet bispora distinguishes the two-spored basidia from four-spored varieties.
Agaricus bisporus Cultivation
Combine compost ingredients on a concrete foundation, watering and turning ingredients to mix them. Turn the pile every daily for up to 15 days until the straw softens.
Compress the compost, adding poultry manure or other nitrogen supplements. Add gypsum to keep bits of straw from sticking together.
Add water and nitrogen supplements to the compost "rick" until its internal temperature rises above 155 degrees Fahrenheit. The compost is ready when it absorbs water, gives off a strong smell of ammonia and is a uniform, caramel color.
Spread the pile out and cool it to begin the pasteurization process.
Place the compost on trays or in plastic sleeves made from black lawn bags. Raise the air temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours to kill the ammonia-producing bacteria.
Ventilate the area for up to four days, dissipating ammonia until you can no longer smell it. Do not allow the inner temperature of the compost to drop more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit in a 24-hour period.
Scatter spawn, a combination of mushroom spores and sterilized grains, over the surface of the compost.
Keep a constant temperature of 75 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the room where you keep the growing tray. The compost will generate heat, but cool the air to keep its temperature from rising above 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures will kill mycelia, the first growth of the spores, and reduce yield
Add supplements, treated slow-release soybean meal or other protein, to fuel the spawn’s development for two to three weeks. Subsiding heat in the pile signals the completion of spawning and the beginning of colonization.
Cover the colonized compost with a uniform 1 1/2- to 2-inch layer, called casing to make a mushroom-growing medium. Make your casing with pasteurized sphagnum moss peat and add enough garden lime to raise its pH to 7.5.
Agaricus bisporus requires darkness to grow.
Maintain high humidity around the casing and compost tray by spraying with a hose attachment or spray bottle several times a day. Avoid overhead watering, which can cause the casing to clump.
Pinning and Cropping
Lower the temperature in the room to between 60 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit once bits of fungus begins forming in little bumps, called pins, on the surface of the casing.
Maintain high humidity and keep the lights off while mushrooms begin to pin.
Begin harvesting mushrooms two to three weeks after casing, as they become recognizable as mature mushrooms. During this "breaking" period, mushrooms double in size every day.
Harvest mushrooms as they mature in waves, or flushes. Water casing gently several times per week while flushes and harvests continue.
Consists of wheat straw and horse manure. Other ingredients may be hay, corn cobs, cocoa bean hulls or cottonseed hulls. Poultry manure or dried brewer's grain adds nitrogen. Compost, spawn, casing and supplement products can be complex for beginners; all are available in kits and from agricultural suppliers.
Sterilize instruments, time steps, and control temperature to prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria in compost.
Keep the compost base aerated; inhibiting air and water circulation slows the composting process, which provides the food for the crop. A concrete foundation allows air to infiltrate the bottom of the pile.
Agaricus bisporus Taste
The white button mushroom tastes vaguely woodsy with hints of earthiness and slightly nutty.
Agaricus bisporus Nutrition Facts
The crude protein, Carbohydrates, Fat, Dietary fiber, Sugars, Fat, Protein, Water, Pantothenic acid (B5), Riboflavin (Vit. B2), Niacin (Vit. B3), Vitamin C, Iron and ash contents as well as the amino acid composition are favorable.
The remarkable level of phosphorus and the very low Na are present in the Agaricus sp. contains 85-90% water of its dry matter. However, the amount of water is greatly influenced by relative humidity and temperature during growth and storage. P
Protein varies from 34% to 44% of total dry weight in Agaricus sp.
The crude fat content ranges from 1-20% of total dry weight. Besides protein, a large
variety of free and combined fatty acids are present in A.bisporus with a high concentration of palmic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid.
The major active compound found in the ethyl acetate fraction is unsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid. Fresh mushroom contains a relatively large amount of carbohydrates i.e.3-28%, particularly pentoses, hexoses, disaccharides, and trehalose ( a mushroom sugar ).
They appear like a good source of several vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, ascorbic acid, vitamin A, B, C, D, and minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, ect.), essential amino acids ( methionin, citralline, ornithin). Lectins are a diverse group of carbohydrate-binding proteins commonly present in animals, plants, and microorganisms. Lectins can act as mediators of cellular and molecular recognition in a wide range of biological systems. ([url=https://pharmacologyonline.silae.it/files/newsletter/2010/vol2/55.Mirunalini.pdf]Source PDF)
Recipe: Curried Agaricus bisporus
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
200g button mushrooms
1 tbs curry powder, (or Curry Masters choose your favorite)
1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup thick natural yogurt
40 gms silverbeet leaves
¼ cup coriander leaves
Heat a wok over high heat. Add oil and heat until hot. Add ginger, garlic, curry powder, and mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until lightly golden.
Add tomatoes and stir-fry 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the heat. Add yogurt, stir until well coated.
Reduce heat to medium. Return wok to the heat and cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
Add spinach or rocket and cook 1 minute or until wilted.
Serve over basmati rice, topped with coriander.
Recipe: White Wine and Garlic Mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter)
6 cups white button mushrooms, washed and dried
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons white wine
Garnish with fresh thyme (optional)
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter.
When the butter is melted, add the mushrooms and toss them in the butter until coated.
Let the mushrooms cook for about 1-2 minutes tossing them once or twice, and then add the garlic powder, thyme, and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
Continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to cook down and release their juices.
Add the white wine and continue to cook, uncovered, for about 8-10 more minutes until the wine cooks off and the mushrooms reach a golden brown color.
Serve with a sprinkling of fresh thyme.
Recipe: Creamy Garlic Mushrooms with Bacon
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound small button mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add in the chopped bacon; cook until crispy and remove from skillet. Set aside.
Add butter and olive oil to the skillet; once melted, lower heat to medium and stir in the garlic. Continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not burn the garlic.
Add mushrooms to the skillet and coat them all around with the butter sauce.
Season with chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Continue to cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender and nicely browned.
Add chicken broth and cook for 10 seconds.
Stir in the heavy cream and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.
Remove from heat; stir in bacon and garnish with parsley.
Recipe: Sauteed Agaricus bisporus
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red cooking wine
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Cook and stir mushrooms, garlic, cooking wine, teriyaki sauce, garlic salt, and black pepper in the hot oil and butter until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 8 more minutes.
Recipe: Mushroom Marinara Ravioli
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup diced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
½ teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Pinch ground black pepper
8 ounces white button mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
1/3 cup packed basil leaves
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 to 10 fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
40 wonton wrappers
Grated Parmesan and chopped herbs for garnish
Start the sauce by heating 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Reduce the heat to medium and add the crushed tomatoes.
Stir in the sugar, dried basil, dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and crushed red pepper (if using). Bring to a simmer, partially covered with a lid, and stir occasionally while you finish the ravioli.
To make the ravioli, place the chopped mushrooms in a food processor with the Parmesan, basil leaves, garlic, and oregano. A process on high for 30 seconds, until the mushrooms look nearly pureed. Pour into a bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working on a flat surface, lay out 20 of the wonton wrappers. Place a generous teaspoon of the mushroom filling in the center of each square. Brush the edges with water and place the remaining wontons over each scoop of filling. Press and pinch the edges to seal the ravioli. You can also use a scalloped cutter or a biscuit cutter to give the ravioli a round or scalloped edge.
Boil the ravioli a few at a time for 1 minute, until they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer 5 ravioli to each of 4 serving plates.
Finish the sauce by heating the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, until tender. Toss with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, and parsley.
Pour some sauce over each plate of ravioli and top with an equal amount of mushrooms. Garnish with Parmesan and chopped herbs when served.
Recipe: Classic Stuffed Mushrooms
16 ounces white button mushrooms (about 14 larger mushrooms)
½ pound pork or turkey sausage
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Small or chopped basil leaves for garnish
Remove the mushroom stems and pulse in food processor until finely chopped (you can also chop by hand). Spray a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms, about 8-by-10-inches, with non-stick cooking spray. Place the mushroom caps upside down in a baking dish.
Cook the chopped mushrooms and sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Break it up into small pieces as it cooks. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the cream cheese until melted about 2 minutes. Add the panko bread crumbs and remove the skillet from the heat.
Stir until all ingredients are combined. Add 1 tablespoon of Parmesan and the salt. Stir well. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Fill each mushroom cap with an equal amount of the sausage stuffing, mounding it high over the mushroom. Bake for 25 minutes, until the filling, is bubbly and the mushrooms are tender.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of Parmesan over the mushrooms just as you pull them out of the oven. Garnish with basil before serving.
Recipe: Turkey & Mushroom BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes, about 1 pound each
16 ounces white button mushrooms
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cups prepared barbecue sauce
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 green onions, white and green portion sliced
Pierce potatoes in several places with a fork and cook in the microwave according to your unit’s instructions, 13 to 15 minutes, until fork-tender. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
Add mushrooms to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (or finely dice by hand if preferred). Blend ground turkey and mushrooms in a large bowl.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the turkey and mushrooms. Cook, stirring often until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion. Continue to cook, until the turkey is browned and no longer pink, about 7 more minutes. Drain excess liquid.
Add barbecue sauce and stir until heated through about 2 minutes. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise. Place cut-side up on a baking sheet. Use a fork to mash some of the potatoes and move to the sides to create a space for the filling. Spoon barbecue filling into each of the 8 potato halves. Sprinkle with an equal amount of cheese.
Broil on high for five minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbling. Serve warm.
Recipe: Perfect Button Mushroom Grill
To grill portobello mushrooms, you'll need to clean them, remove the stem, and scrape out the gills.
Then add 2 large portobellos to a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together two tablespoons olive oil, two minced garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.
Add the sauce to the portobellos and toss until portobellos are fully coated.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and add portobellos. Let grill on each side for about four to six minutes until grill marks appear.
Pro tip: Kick up the flavor by adding a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and ½ tablespoon of pure maple syrup to the sauce. You can also let the mushrooms marinate in the refrigerator for up to an hour for added flavor.
Mushrooms are deliciously crispy when roasted. To roast crimini mushrooms, line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a pound of sliced mushrooms to a large bowl.
Toss with one tablespoon coconut oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and ½ teaspoon Italian herbs. Add to the baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Recipe: Spicy Button Mushrooms
500g button mushroom
5 cloves garlic
4 green chili
4 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric
2 teaspoon garam masala powder
salt as required
2 capsicum (green pepper)
3 inches ginger
4 tablespoon fresh cream
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon kasoori methi powder
1/2 handful chopped coriander leaves
Wash the button mushrooms thoroughly under running water and pat them dry on a kitchen napkin or towel. Note that you should not soak the mushrooms in water as they tend to absorb water and become soggy. Cut them into slices.
Cut the capsicums into small pieces too. Also, roughly chop the ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Roughly chop the tomatoes and onions too. Put them all aside.
Take a grinder jar and add ginger, green chilies, and garlic in it. Grind this mix till it turns into a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl. Similarly grind tomatoes and onions into a paste and transfer it in another bowl.
Put a pan on medium flame and heat some oil in it. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Following that, add the coarse paste prepared with garlic, ginger, and green chilies in the pan and mix it well. Let this mix saute for a while.
Now, add the onion and tomato paste too in the pan and saute it well till it is cooked. Add spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder. Mix everything well once more.
Let the gravy cook till the oil starts releasing from the sides. Once that happens, add the previously sliced button mushrooms in the pan along with capsicum or green peppers. Let them cook for a couple of minutes.
Add some water in the pan along with the seasoning of salt. Mix it well and cover the pan. Let it simmer till the mushrooms are cooked.
Remove the lid and add some fresh cream and mix everything. Let the vegetable dish cook for a couple more minutes. Add kasoori methi and mix it well. Remove the pan from heat.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve at once with a bread or rice preparation of your choice.
Recipe: Teriyaki Roasted Button mushroom
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt (I use kosher), plus more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
½ tablespoons teriyaki sauce
½ teaspoon dark sesame oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, toss washed mushrooms with butter and olive oil.
Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until mushrooms are browned at the edges and have given up their liquid.
Return to bowl and season with salt and pepper, then toss with teriyaki sauce and sesame oil.
Taste and see if you need a bit more salt or pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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