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$59.00 per lb
The prized edible mushroom
These edible mushrooms are prized in Japan, both for their flavor and meaning. To this day they're still given as important gifts, meant to symbolize fertility and happiness.
Yet it's not only the Japanese that love these pine mushrooms. Matsutake are held in high regard the world over for their powerful flavor and odor. They're a sensory adventure often referred to as "spicy", "intense", or "like cinnamon"
When cooking with a matsutake mushroom, one should consider a rule applicable to so many things in life: less is more. Sometimes the flavor is so pungent it can overwhelm your dish. Better to start with a small amount and work your way up.
This is a meaty mushroom that works well in many different types of recipes. It can be an acquired taste, so I'd recommend trying it in a few dishes before you decide that it's too spicy or weird.
Pine mushrooms become heavy and wet when washed with water directly. Wipe them down thoroughly with a damp cloth or paper towel before cooking, rather than soaking or putting them under running water.
A few more cooking hints:
- Store them in the refrigerator if not using right away, no more than 10 days.
- Matsutake work best in recipes without a lot of butter or cream. These heavy ingredients don't mix well with their unique, pine-like flavor.
- These babies will easily overpower the taste of other gourmet mushrooms. So save your chanterelles, porcini, and black trumpets for their own recipe. White buttons are okay, as they will just absorb the other flavors of the dish.
- Much like truffles, use the KISS method when creating recipes. That is: Keep It Simple, Silly! Let the smell and flavor of the mushroom be the highlight of the dish.
- For the best taste, texture, and flavor, cook them lightly and serve while they're still firm. Don't overcook to the point that they're soft or mushy.