Baby Shiitake Mushrooms
Inventory, 5 lbs : 0
|Food Buzz: History of Mushrooms|
Baby shiitake mushrooms range in colors from amber to paper bag-brown. Each mushroom has an umbrella shaped cap with a curled rim. Their caps have a cream-colored supple-firm interior. Unlike mature shiitake mushrooms, baby shiitake mushrooms are entirely edible as their thin stalks are still tender when young. When cooked, shiitakes release a garlic-pine aroma and have a rich, earthy, umami flavor.
Baby shiitake mushrooms are harvested on logs year-round. Their growth, and hence availability, is dependent upon how well the log feeds them.
These shiitakes are farm raised and harvested on protein-filled sterile sawdust logs that have been inoculated with shiitake spores. The individual logs can produce over 4 pounds of mushrooms during their lifetime. They are also 100% recyclable; once the logs are exhausted they can be used for composting or as a natural fertilizer.
Baby Shiitake mushrooms, like mature Shiitake, are widely used in Asian cuisine. They are not limited to Asian recipes, though, and as a cultivated variety, they may be substituted in recipes calling for "wild mushrooms". Pair shiitake with Asian mustard greens, eggplant, rice, noodles, garlic, soy and chile. May be sauteed, roasted or skewered and grilled.
Shiitake mushrooms are native to East Asia, specifically China and Japan. They have been growing wild since prehistoric times. The first record of cultivation of the shiitake mushroom was documented in China in AD 199. The first shiitake production in the United States did not ocure until a ban on importing live shiitake cultures was lifted in 1972 (Shiitakes do not grow wild in the U.S.). Cultivated shiitakes require special growing environments. Modern growing environments utilize controlled temperature, heating, humidity, light and moisture content to produce the highest possible yields. Shiitakes are also "social". They fruit far more generously among large groups of logs.
Recipes that include Baby Shiitake Mushrooms. One is easiest, three is harder.