The maitake mushroom is a an interesting looking fungi. I recently went into the snowy mountains of Japan to visit the company that first discovered how to grow Maitake mushrooms indoors.
I took a few pictures:
Holding a living Maitake Mushroom, still growing on the substrate block
In this photo I am about to harvest this Maitake mushroom, which is bigger than my head.
The white part is the mycelium (roots) of the mushroom totally grown over a trade secret mix of wood chips, sawdust and other food-stuffs that are devoured by Maitake mycelium.
This was really fun for me because I have tried to grow Maitake mushrooms myself in a similar manner. But they alwasy just turned into something looking like a small brain. And never grew to their full mature size.
The worker gave me some plastic gloves and informed me (in Japanese) to grab underneath the mushroom and gently rock it back and forth while pulling up. I could feel a tearing of tissue sensation and then the whole thing popped up.
This nex photo is the AFTER shot:
I just picked this massive Maitake mushroom and I'm so proud of my new baby (the mushroom)
Here you can see that it is removed from the block.
I bought this one for about $10 and took it home. We were eating Maitake recipes for the next three days.
Guaranteed we got our beta glucan optimal doses on those days
Any other mushroom geeks out there can probably guess how fun an event this was for me.
And for non-geeks, the flavor was delicious!