Meet the Mushrooms: Hen of the Woods

Did you know that September is National Mushroom Month? We don’t need an excuse to celebrate the wonders of fungi, but we’ll take it.  All month long, we will be talking about our friends in the mushroom kingdom.

We recently added several new varieties of fresh mushrooms to our offerings at dartagnan.com. Already a favorite among our professional chefs, these fresh mushrooms are sure to find their way into many of your cooking adventures.

Hen of the Woods AKA MaitakeHen of the Woods

Maitake is the Japanese name for Grifola frondosa, which is known in English as the Hen of the Woods, Ram’s or Sheep’s Head or Dancing Mushroom. We use the names “maitake” and “hen of the woods” interchangeably.

Around the world, this is a forager’s favorite, and you may spot the distinctive maitake cluster growing in the woods while on a hike.

Our certified-organic maitake mushrooms are cultivated; that is, grown in pristine conditions at a mushroom farm. Cultivated  mushrooms are reliable, available year-round, very clean, and full of flavor.

Cooking Maitake Mushrooms

Cut away the connecting stem at the base and cook this mushroom simply – some butter or duck fat in a sauté pan is all you need. Use plenty, because mushrooms soak up fat like sponges. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste after cooking for sublime umami flavor … if you salt during cooking, water is released and thus moisture content and texture can be affected.

Maitake pairs well with roasted meats, chicken, cheese, greens and grains.

Try maitake roasted whole as we did here.whole roasted maitakeMaitake can be roasted, grilled, sautéed. Add them to your favorite mushroom recipes.

Try some of our recipes, or invent new ones to showcase these extraordinary mushrooms.

Fun Fungi Fact: There is evidence that maitake mushrooms have immune boosting properties, and they are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Not only delicious, but healthy too!

Shop for maitake here.

Cooking with D’Artagnan mushrooms? Share photos with us on social media! Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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