Meet the Mushrooms: Shiitake

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. And eating plenty of mushrooms too.

Have you seen the new fresh mushrooms at dartagnan.com?  We have recently added some chef favorites so that home cooks can enjoy high-quality mushrooms along with their D’Artagnan meats. And mushrooms are 15% off all month! Here’s one of our new organic mushrooms …

Shiitake Mushrooms

The Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) is one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide. With its large, firm cap, meaty texture and earthy flavor, it’s a must for Asian cooking. But it’s not limited to the cuisines of Asia.

Anywhere you want meaty mushrooms and umami flavor, think Shiitake. Slice the thick caps and use them in soups, sautés, stuffing, risotto and pasta dishes – save the stems for vegetable stock, as they are tough and chewy. Shiitake mushrooms are versatile and quite kitchen-friendly.

Our organic Shiitake mushrooms are grown by an immigrant family from Taiwan, who brought specialized knowledge of mushroom cultivation and a specific Asian strain of Shiitake with them when they established their small farm in New Jersey. This strain has been selected for its thicker cap and a superior taste profile.

shiitake-group

Cooking Shiitake Mushrooms

These organic, cultivated shiitake are usually fairly clean, so there is no need to rinse them. Since mushrooms act as sponges, we recommend dry brushing or wiping with a damp cloth if any cleaning is necessary.

The stems of shiitake are fibrous and not edible, so trim them off. But don’t waste them; save stems in the freezer to use in your next vegetable stock. Mushroom bits and pieces add depth of flavor and that ineffable umami that is so desirable.

Fun Fungi Fact: Holy shiitake! These mushrooms are considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Shiitake mushrooms have been used medicinally in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. And science keeps proving that these mushrooms are fairly bursting with vitamins, minerals and protein, and have health-promoting properties, including immune support, antiviral and cholesterol-lowering abilities.

 

 

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