WHAT IS A SHIITAKE MUSHROOM?
This Japanese mushroom is named after the tree (shii) that it originally grew on. They grow on average to 2 to 4 inches in size on decaying hardwood trees. Today they are one of the most popular mushrooms in the world due to their smoky and meaty flavor. Already ten times more flavor then most other mushrooms, drying these edibles further intensifies their taste. Today like pretty much everything else, a good percentage of the world’s shiitake mushrooms come from China.
WHY ARE SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS GOOD FOR YOU?
Besides having the health benefits of other mushrooms, they are also very high in copper. In particular they have a reputation for fighting cancer and promoting brain health. But nothing has been clinically proven (so consult your doctor not me, don’t sue don’t sue don’t sue, etc).
WHEN ARE SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS IN SEASON?
Wherever there is decaying wood and a greenhouse, there is the potential for a mushroom harvest. Commercial cultivation has made shiitake available year-round throughout the world.
HOW SHOULD SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS BE STORED?
Fresh mushrooms need to breathe, so do not store them in a sealed plastic bag. A paper bag lined with some paper towels will work just fine in your refrigerator. But they don’t keep very long so use them as soon as possible. If they get a little soft, clean them up and use them in a cooked dish instead of something raw like a salad. Make sure to cut off the end of the stalks, that is where the most dirt is.
MICROWAVING FOOD TO SEAL IN THE GOODNESS?
Scientists at the Mushroom Technological Research Center in La Rioja, Spain have determined that the best way to seal in a mushrooms nutritional benefits is by microwaving or grilling them. After a lot of testing, they found that frying and boiling mushrooms was the least effective way to preserve their health benefits before they end up in your stomach. To read more about this click here! And if you want to see the proper way to prepare a mushroom for cooking, check out our new video here!