Older sources for portobello mushrooms

MMcM at Polyglot Vegetarian (via Transblawg) is rightly surprised that the latest OED update only manages to take portobello mushrooms back to 1990. They appear in 1989 in Bruno Ellmer’s Classical and Contemporary Italian Cooking for Professionals and in the 1942 edition of Agriculture Decisions, a publication by the US Dept of Agriculture, which is upset about their having been misspelt in advertising designed to promote the sector (I think–source GBS excerpt). A similarly tantalising excerpt from Atholl de Walden’s 1871 satirical “auto”biography of Harry Disney (who he zackerly?) suggests that it is much older: “Mr. M’Mushroom was accordingly returned MP for Porto Bello, and very shortly afterwards had the honour of sitting on a Committee with Mr. M’Truckle to…” (Wouldn’t it be smarter and cheaper for the OED to offer rewards for earlier sightings, dead or alive, rather than contracting contributors?)

Similar posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *