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Portobello Mushroom Explosive [Paul Stamets Is In Trouble!?]

How would you react to a rumor circulating about the explosive nature of Portobello Mushroom? If you are in shock, you’re not alone. 

Generally, Portobello is an edible type of Mushroom packed with several nutrients like fiber and protein. But the presence of agaritine, which is a carcinogen, and hydrazine derivative make people speculate about its danger. Besides, they are very safe. 

Follow along to learn if Portobella is actually an explosive or if it’s just some random speculation.

What Does Portobello Mushroom Look Like?

Belonging to the edible category, Portobello (Agariccus bisporus) is a large, brown Mushroom that looks like a mature Button Mushroom. 

Actually, they are fully grown forms of the Cremini Mushroom.

It has a thick, meaty cap that can grow up to 6 inches in diameter and is loved for its rich, savory taste and chewy texture. 

Native to Asia and Europe, these Mushrooms are now commercially grown all over the words.

Two Portobello Mushroom against white background.
Due to the wide cap, they are most preferred for culinary uses.

In the U.S., you’ll not have a problem growing them from Zone 4 to Zone 10. The only condition is cool and moist surroundings. 

Further, Portobello is packed with vitamins A, C, potassium, fiber, and proteins, making them a superfood for daily diet. 

Is Portobello Mushroom Explosive?

No, Portobello Mushroom is not explosive. But the rumors about them being explosive has peaked ever since the podcast of Joe Rogan with the Mushroom expert Paul Stamets was live on Youtube. 

When asked by the host about the negative effect of Portobello, Paul pondered for a good 10-20 seconds.

After which he quotes, ”This is an explosive… (serious pause) area of conversation, and that puts my life in danger. So, I reserve the right not to answer your question.”

Since then, people have started creating speculation and hypotheses about how Portobella could explode. 

Some believe the Mushrooms are filled with gas that could potentially blast if cooked. So, maybe Paul was referring to explosive diarrhea.

While people form a science background, try connecting the Portobello Mushroom explosive dots to agaritine, a compound found in the Mushroom.

They explain how agaritine is a hydrazine derivative and hydrazine is highly explosive and used as rocket fuel. But as a derivative, it is not possible for the Mushroom to explode.

However, no scientific proof proves any of the Portobello explosion hypothesis. So, neither are they explosive nor poisonous like the Dead Cap Mushroom.

Is It OK To Eat A Whole Portobello Mushroom?

Despite being readily available in grocery stores and supermarkets, the rumors of Portobello mushroom explosive might have people thinking about the edibility.

Adding to it is the presence of agaritine, which is a carcinogen that may have hazardous effects on tissues.

However, the amount of agaritine in a mushroom depends on its size. A medium-sized raw Portobello (about 100 gm) would roughly contain about 10-12 gm agaritine

And interestingly, agaritine in Mushrooms readily destroys when cooked at a temperature above 130°C (266°F), which is our normal coming temperature. So, consuming Portobello Mushrooms is okay and safe if you cook them properly at high heat. 

That said, consuming a whole Portobello is still a matter of choice. Some prefer to remove the gills and stems before cooking, grilling, or baking them.

A portobello mushroom baked with cheese melting on the top.
Try baking these Mushrooms with some cheese and mashed potatoes for the umami taste.

Gills, not because they are poisonous but because the spores make them bitter in taste. Further, it may spoil the whole experience of the fleshy, rich Portobello.

Similarly, the stem of the Portobello has a tough texture and a bland flavor. Cutting them off the base cap leaves you with only the good part, the cap. 

From Editorial Team

Look For Allergic Reactions!

Regardless of whether Portobello Mushroom is explosive, some people can have allergies. 

Just like with any other type of food, people can develop itching, and hives, followed by nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

In severe conditions, you may even have shortness of breathing as well. So, we do not recommend consuming Portobella if you are sensitive. 

Also, make sure to seek professional help in case of any mishaps.