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Portobello or Portabella?

Philly Ray Jul 23, 2009 07:27 PM

You know...those big mushrooms.

How do you spell it/What do you call them?

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  1. pikiliz RE: Philly Ray Jul 23, 2009 07:30 PM

    http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/portobel... I was always taught portobello

    1. goodhealthgourmet RE: Philly Ray Jul 23, 2009 07:55 PM

      the debate begins about 9 replies down...


      1. c
        Crispy skin RE: Philly Ray Jul 23, 2009 09:08 PM


        1. f
          Fydeaux RE: Philly Ray Jul 24, 2009 05:20 AM

          It appears that it is up to the user. personally I use Portabella for the mushrooms and Portobello for the road in London in a song from "Bednobs and Broomsticks".

          1 Reply
          1. re: Fydeaux
            melpy RE: Fydeaux Dec 1, 2013 05:11 AM

            This pretty much sums it up for me!

            I love that song.

          2. j
            jimingso RE: Philly Ray Jul 24, 2009 01:57 PM

            Portobello=male mushroom

            Portabella=female mushroom

            4 Replies
            1. re: jimingso
              pikiliz RE: jimingso Jul 24, 2009 02:22 PM

              I like that will be using it,m Giving you full credit of course
              Now let's have some pizza and learn about Cuba (MR HAND RIDGEMONT HIGH SCHOOL )

              1. re: jimingso
                lgss RE: jimingso Jul 24, 2009 03:06 PM

                Sí, but how do you tell which is which? ;-)

                1. re: lgss
                  jimingso RE: lgss Jul 24, 2009 04:17 PM

                  The length of the stem, of course. Portobellos are most usually seen in London, BTW.

                  1. re: jimingso
                    lgss RE: jimingso Jul 25, 2009 04:17 AM


              2. t
                Tatai RE: Philly Ray Jul 25, 2009 03:47 PM

                How about just calling them "overgrown creminis."

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tatai
                  Wahooty RE: Tatai Jul 25, 2009 05:33 PM

                  Or "overgrown crimini." ;)

                  But I have been told this is what the Italians call them...

                2. enbell RE: Philly Ray Jul 25, 2009 05:46 PM

                  Today at the farmer's market I guess the vendor could not decide between the two so went with a hybrid instead. But portobella can't be right, can it?

                  1. r
                    RebeccaMae RE: Philly Ray Mar 17, 2010 01:12 AM

                    I'm not sure what everyone has said, but I'll let you in on a secret: In the matter of portabella versus portobello, both spellings are used. It is really up to the author's discretion. However, the Mushroom Council has adopted the two "a" version to establish some consistency.
                    plural: portabellas

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: RebeccaMae
                      maria lorraine RE: RebeccaMae Mar 19, 2010 01:11 AM

                      I'm surprised by the Mushroom Council on this, and remember being so when I went on some of their field trips years ago. Oddly, the Mushroom Council spells the mushroom both as portabella and portobello in their website recipes.

                      I mostly see portobello used, and the original spelling was portobello:
                      "The name "portobello" began to be used in the 1980s as a brilliant marketing ploy to popularize an unglamorous mushroom that, more often than not, had to be disposed of because growers couldn't sell them." ---The New Food Lover's Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst, 3rd edition [Barrons:New York] 2001 (p. 485
                      )http://rouxbe.com/community/forums/13.... T

                      Wikipedia (a dubious resource for many things) does have a good write-up of agaricus bisporus, where they
                      indicate portobello is the correct spelling. FWIW.

                      1. re: maria lorraine
                        carswell RE: maria lorraine Mar 22, 2010 06:17 PM

                        The 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (a not infallible but far from dubious resource) favours portobello; portabella and portobella are listed as variants. The second edition of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary spells it portobello period.

                    2. h
                      Harters RE: Philly Ray Mar 17, 2010 04:32 AM

                      "What do you call them?"

                      Large field mushrooms.

                      1. m
                        melba420 RE: Philly Ray Oct 7, 2010 12:13 PM

                        i like to call them "portable" mushrooms.

                        1. p
                          Pincus RE: Philly Ray Oct 7, 2010 12:20 PM

                          I always use "portobello" if I am writing a description.

                          1. r
                            RockyJones RE: Philly Ray Nov 30, 2013 01:47 PM

                            It's Portobello, definitely. Portabella is wrong, but it's been used so often that people are starting to think it's right.

                            The name is used in England, Ireland, and other places around the world and it comes from Italian and means beautiful port. (porto = port, bello = beautiful).

                            Portabella on the other hand is also Italian, but it means beautiful DOOR (porta = door, bella = beautiful) and while Beautiful Port (or Harbor) makes sense, Beautiful Door is just plain dumb. It's Portobello!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: RockyJones
                              maria lorraine RE: RockyJones Nov 30, 2013 02:52 PM

                              It's a name made up by the mushroom industry, for marketing purposes, says the mushroom industry in a conference I attended in Monterey, during which the word origin was discussed.

                              It was made up to sound Italian but has no bearing to any port or Italy or anything else Italian.

                              1. re: RockyJones
                                Harters RE: RockyJones Dec 1, 2013 04:47 AM

                                Portobello is now in use as a word throughout the UK, not just in England. We used to generally call them "field mushrooms" but the industry has taken up what I understand to be the American name in recent years (as so often).

                                By the by, there's a street on London called Portobello Road -named after the town, Puerto Bellos, in what is now Panama. We captured it from the Spanish in 1739.

                                1. re: Harters
                                  DebinIndiana RE: Harters Dec 1, 2013 01:24 PM

                                  Thank you. Like others of a certain age, I loved the song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but I wondered why London had a Spanish-sounding road.

                              2. hill food RE: Philly Ray Dec 1, 2013 08:59 AM

                                when I send someone to the store to play fetch, I use the highly technical term of: "those honking big ones you can marinate and put on the grill"

                                otherwise, I know what you're talking about. it's colloquial.

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