Sunday, November 21, 2010

Grifola Frondosa, Maitake, King of Mushrooms, Hen of the Woods, Dancing Mushroom, Cloud Mushroom or in a word - Yum

Maitake Mushroom
Today marked the pre-Thanksgiving weekend encore presentation of the Beaverton Farmers Market.  It was cold and rainy and somewhat smaller than the regular season market, but many of our favorites were there.  We stocked up on Skipanon smoked albacore, some heirloom apples and que drum roll.... Maitake Mushrooms!  I love maitakes.  They are not native in our area, and are hard to find in the grocery store, so I get my fix from Rainforest Mushroom. 

Maitakes have a unique taste.  They have the umami and earthiness common to many mushrooms, but the flavor is strong and truly not like anything else I've ever had.  I wouldn't use them in place of more traditional mushrooms in recipes, but they are fairly dry and crisp up nicely sauteed in butter or olive oil and match with a nice rib eye steak, pork chops or broiled salmon.  I also lke to add them to buttered noodles.  This batch won't make the thanksgiving menu because, well, I don't want to share...  If you happen to find some, do yourself a favor and overlook the price and give them a try.

P.S., I also found some awesome unpasturized cider at the farmers market that has started the transformation into what I hope will be a great hard cider.

10 comments:

  1. wow! I've never seen any mushroom like this! :D

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  2. Thanks for stopping by. They are pretty unique in my experience. They are apparently quite popular in various Asian countries, but can be pretty hard to find in our area. We first tried them because they were the grower's favorite. I understand you can grow them from kits, but they require pretty specific temperature and humidity control to get them to fruit.
    ~Loren

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  3. It has been such an amazing year for mushrooms here! I've got friends out collecting chanterelles 20 and 30 lbs at a time! THIS is why I love the Pacific Northwest!
    Thanks for sharing your great photos!

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  4. I've never seen or heard of Maitakes, but they are beautiful and I'd luv to try it. Thx for introducing me to them. :)

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  5. I loveee mushrooms and just when I thought I've tried and seen all the different types of mushrooms in the world.. you post this. Incredible!!

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  6. I adore mushrooms, and I'm always looking to find new varieties. I've never heard of maitakes, but I'm eager to try them. Thank you for sharing...and for visiting my blog!

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  7. Mushrooms and pears AND risotto? I'm making that happen this week. What a deliciously sweet and savory combo. Thanks for stopping by BraveTart!

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  8. Maitakes are my favorite mushroom!

    (I don't share them either)

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  9. I've never seen these before and would love to see how you used them. What a glorious looking mushroom.

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  10. Check out my new post - One More Use For Maitakes - http://www.eatingnw.com/2010/12/one-more-use-for-maitakes.html.

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