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THE SHIITAKE MUSHROOM

The shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) is certainly the best-known fungus, as it has been cultivated for thousands of years and is recognised for its medicinal properties. In France, this fungus is also known as "Lentin du Chêne" or "Chinese Lentin".

It is an easy-to-cook and delicious mushroom that goes well with a range of preparations. The shiitake presents as a very healthy fungus with great nutritional properties, as it is rich in antioxidants and certain vitamins. It has long been used in Chinese medicine.

SHIITAKE, A FUNGUS WITH MEDICINAL PROPERTIES

The shiitake mushroom contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is a cultivated fungus of Asian origin, well-known for its many benefits.

HISTORY

In the wild, shiitake grows in deciduous forests, especially thanks to Castanopsis cuspidata or the "Shii" tree, from which it takes its name. This hardwood variety is similar to beech and oak.

The dead wood of this tree naturally supports this fungus in Japan, Korea and China. It was in Japan in the year 199 that the shiitake was first mentioned in writing. In the Yamato language (a Japanese language) the word "Take" referred to a Kami, a deified plant that symbolised vitality and rapid growth.

Its name comes from the following legend: Emperor Chuai of Japan (more likely a leader of a local clan) was said to have received this fungus as a gift, with its consumption offering benefits to his physical endurance, sexual vigour and longevity. It didn't take much to establish this mushroom's reputation as an elixir of life through Chinese medicine, still recognised today. It is also well-known that shiitake has been grown in China for more than a thousand years.

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Where does the shiitake grow?

Traditionally grown in Japan on logs of wood, its natural substrate, or on rice straw (which slightly reinforces its characteristic "umami" flavour), the shiitake mushroom is considered an essential food for gastronomy and nutrition in Asia.

As such, the shiitake has been gradually gaining a firm reputation throughout the world. The shiitake mushrooms currently available on the market are all cultivated and can be produced in all latitudes.

HARVEST SEASON:

As a cultivated mushroom, the shiitake has no particular season and can be harvested throughout the year.

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS:

The shiitake mushroom has a very high satiety index, without any significant calorie or sugar content.

It is a source of dietary fibre and offers good-quality proteins as it is rich in essential amino acids. All these characteristics make it an essential "superfood" for a healthy diet. Today, the shiitake mushroom is very well studied (in Japan, the USA and more) for the diversity of its compounds, recognised for their preventative effects against various diseases.

In this respect, it is compared to fungi such as the reishi (Ganoderma lucidum). It is typically considered a "functional food", with various benefits for nutritional well-being, and covers a significant proportion of our needs in terms of microelements, B vitamins and antioxidants.

FLAVOUR AND AROMA COMBINATIONS:

The shiitake is characterised by a texture that is both tender and slightly fibrous, reminiscent of meat thanks to its umami flavour and very characteristic aromas of onion and other sulphur vegetables (cooked cabbages, leeks, etc.).

Aromas of smoke and roasts further enrich the flavour of this mushroom. Meanwhile, fruity notes also bring a very pleasant contrast: citrus, apple and fresh almond.

MAISON BORDE OFFERS
A WIDE RANGE
OF SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS

DEHYDRATED SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS

At the Maison Borde, we offer whole or chopped dehydrated shiitake mushrooms.

Dried, this mushroom retains all its organoleptic characteristics (flavour, taste, etc.) and can be easily used in cooking.

Depending on its drying method (temperature and drying time), the aromas of the shiitake may be more or less pronounced.

Mmmmm!

HOW DO YOU COOK THE SHIITAKE MUSHROOM?

The shiitake mushroom is delicious on its own, steamed with a drizzle of oil or slightly fried and toasted with a few condiments.

Its "umami" flavour is, however, highly enhanced by umami synergies with other foods. As such, it is the ideal ingredient for Japanese-inspired recipes which highlight the umami synergies between shiitake mushrooms and the following foods: ripe or dried tomato, chicken, dried fish and seaweed. This is most often done by boiling in water.

This mushroom is ideal for vegetarian dishes. Typically, shiitake can be used to replace meat in many preparations, paired with a variety of vegetables: leeks, broccoli and, of course, the sulphur vegetables whose aromas it recalls – onions, cabbages and more. Shiitake mushrooms (cooked and then quickly cooled) can also be combined with cold recipes, especially in salads. It is also possible to draw on the fruity aromas of the shiitake mushroom by pairing it with fruits (citrus fruits, apples and almonds). Finally, shiitake mushrooms are also highly appreciated in the preparation of soups and broths.

OUR FAVOURITE SHIITAKE RECIPES

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