Matsutake mushrooms (aka pine mushrooms) are one of the more
intensely flavored varieties of wild mushrooms. They have a savory,
pungent “piney” flavor. Their texture is dense and meaty, somewhat
similar to porcinis and portabellas. Matsutake mushrooms are highly prized in Japan as a delicacy.
Matsutake mushrooms grow in the Pacific Northwest forests between
September and January. When fresh ones are out of season, dried
matsutakes are a great substitute that can be enjoyed year round.
Using dried matsutakes is as easy as soaking them in hot water until
they’ve rehydrated or adding them, still dry, to simmering soups &
stews. They store conveniently in your cupboards, pantry, etc, and
last an extremely long time.
In addition to their convenience, and intense flavor, dried
mushrooms are a great value. It takes about 5 pounds of fresh mushrooms
to create 8 ounces of dried mushrooms.
Fresh wild matsutake mushrooms are also available when in season.