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Wild Mushrooms

All fresh Wild Mushrooms are seasonal and are greatly influenced by weather patterns in the areas they are grown in. Expected harvests can vary widely from year to year. Prices, as well, will vary from season to season in response to supply and demand from the world wide market. There exists a lack of knowledge in regard to the wide variety of mushroom flavors, every species of mushroom has it's own unique taste experience. To those who have developed a palette for exotic mushrooms, comparing a Cepe to a Morel is like "apples to oranges". There exists no standard for describing the variety of mushroom flavors, only your experience will reveal this world of flavors to you.

It takes an average of 10 pounds of fresh mushrooms to make one pound of dried, so even though the price of dried mushrooms appears high, they are usually about one third the average fresh price. Most dried mushrooms are like fine wines, whose flavor greatly increases and becomes more concentrated with proper aging. Stored properly, dried mushrooms have an indefinte shelf life.


Black Trumpet
Black Chanterelle, Horn of Plenty, whatever name you use for this mushroom, this fragile, charcoal gray morsel has a Smokey fragarance, bold flavor and delicate texture. Black Trumpet can also be powdered and used as a seasoning for souffles and terrenes. It will add an exotic flavor to any wild mushroom dish.
Morel
Morel Mushrooms are one of the most highly prized of the wild mushrooms. They come in the early Spring in most areas. Some Morels will only produce in an area that has had a forest fire the summer before. It's sweet earth flavor is difficult to describe, but is coveted by many. Whether they be fresh, battered and fried, or dry in a cream sauce (see our Recipes Page) the flavor of Morels can't be beat.
Porcini
Cepe, Steinpiltz, or King Bolete, these Porcini Mushroom are quintessential to most European cuisine.. Brown capped early fall delicacy with its' nutty, robust flavor has long been considered by mushroom hunters to be "The King of Wild Mushrooms".
Chanterelle
With a faint aroma of apricot and a fruity flavor, this mushroom lends itself well to sauces, pasta and egg dishes. It also does fine with chicken and fish. This golden delicacy grows abundantly in many parts of North America.
Wood Ears
Auricularia polytricha, is a rubbery, dark brown mushroom used in many Asian soups and stir fries. It has a distinctive crunchy texture that will take on whatever flavor it is cooked with. Chinese herbalists have long regarded this fungus as a medicinal food, used for its' anticoagulant effect on the blood. To use them, cover with a little warm water, let them expand and soften, drain, cut into pieces and add to your favorite stir-fry or hot and sour soup.
Maitake (Hen of the Woods)
The King of Mushrooms. For over 3,000 years, Chinese herbalists have used mushrooms as part of their remedies and cures. It has been only in the last 20 years that Western medicine has begun to look at the medicinal properties of these mushrooms. Reishi, Maitake and Shiitake are only a few of these "healing mushrooms". The Maitake (Grifola Fondosa) has been found to be the most potent immunostimulant of all mushrooms. The compounds contained in Maitake have the capacity to not only stimulate immune function, but also to inhibit tumor growth. These compounds include polysaccharides and high-molecular sugar polymers. Most research on Maitake has been conducted relative to cancer and tumor regression. Studies with lab animals have shown significant reduction in tumor size and frequency, it is thought by helping to build the immune system. Studies with IMV/AIDS patients show that by taking a Maitake extract orally helped to prevent the destruction of T-helper cells (lymphocytes) by as much as 97%. These T-helper cells are usually killed during radiation and drug therapies. Other studies show that a diet containing Maitake can lower blood pressure, help to control sugar levels in diabetic patients and even help to control weight. So it seems the Chinese have been on to something for quite a while; Western medicine is a little slow to follow. By using Maitake and Shiitake as a food, we not only can have more interesting and delicious meals, but we get the health benifits as an added plus.
Shiitake
Shiitake Mushrooms grow wild throughout the Far East, where it is found on decaying trees. Cultivation of Shiitake on oak logs has been practiced for centuries in Japan. The Japanese believe in eating "Shiitake each day", much like Americans who believe in "eating an apple a day". Studies have shown that eating Shiitake lowers blood serum cholesterol in people. Various studies have also credited Shiitake with tumor regression, and helping the body produce interferon, a natural substance which fights cancer cells and stimulates the immune system. We offer a Shiitake Growing Kit that includes 300 Shiitake plugs innoculated on hardwood dowels and full instructions so you can grow your own!

Dry Shiitake contains at least 20% protein by weight, and are high in trace minerals and B vitamins. Shiitake is a delicious and healthful mushroom. Shiitake grows wild throughout the Far East where it is found on decaying trees. Cultivation of Shiitake on oak logs has been practiced for centuries in Japan.


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