Puzzle 35

John Baez

Q: Which three well-known varieties of mushroom are actually the same species?

A: Button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms and portobello mushrooms. All these are Agaricus bisporus. The button mushroom is the most widely sold form of mushroom in American grocery stores:

The portobello is a large brown strain of the same species, left to mature further before picking; portobellos have a distinctive savory smell. The crimini is an immature portobello.

Button mushrooms are also called "table mushrooms" or simply "cultivated mushrooms". In France, the Agaricus bisporus is called the "champignon de Paris".


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