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Shiitake Mushrooms Info - 5.7.2018

Posted 5/7/2018 7:32pm by Jan Schofield.

Shiitake Mushrooms                 

 

(Oak, Chinese or Black Forest)
(Lentinjus edodes)

Shiitakes range in color from tan to dark brown with broad, umbrella-shaped caps, wide open veils and tan gills. Shiitake caps have a soft, spongy texture. When cooked, Shiitake mushrooms are rich and woodsy with a meaty texture.
Shiitakes can last for up to 14 days. Keep refrigerated in porous paper bags.
Serving Suggestions
Shiitakes are best if cooked and adapt well to most cooking techniques. They add a meaty flavor and texture to stir-fry's, pastas, soups, entrees and side dishes.
Follow handling instructions: Before using tear off and discard tough woody stem. Discarded stems can be used to flavor stocks.

Shiitake mushrooms were originally cultivated on natural oak logs, a process which took two to four years before the mycelium colonized the wood sufficiently to produce fruiting. Shiitakes were harvested on a seasonal basis (spring and fall) for about six years. Now, however, oak sawdust is packed into poly bags, sterilized, inoculated with spawn and placed in environmentally controlled rooms. These manmade "logs" produce Shiitakes in seven weeks. The total process, from spawning to the end of harvesting takes about four months as compared to the six year cycle on natural logs.
The Shiitake mushroom is the most widely cultivated specialty mushroom in the world and is both a prized medicine as well as a culinary delight.
Shiitake is now one of the most popular sources of protein in Japan, and a major staple in China, and other parts of the Pacific Rim. As a good source, it has the combined attributes of being appetizing, nourishing, dietetic and healthful. Shiitake has adequate nutritional qualities to serve as a main dish. It adapts well to recipes as a meat substitute. Shiitake has also shown the capacity to lower high blood pressure in laboratory animals. Shiitake produces a fat-absorbing compound which aids in weight reduction. Delicious to eat and good for you.

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