If you’re new to mycology or You may be wondering where to find Shiitake Mushrooms
The Perfect Conditions For Finding Shiitake Mushrooms
- Close together
- Hillside facing east
- Transition between pine and hardwoods
- Deadfall on ground
- Lots of moss
- Dry before and then in the last few days lots of rain
- Warming up
- Temp at night above 50f
Where In The World Do You Find Shiitake Mushrooms In The Wild
Where to Find Shiitake Mushrooms In South East Asia
Throughout the Far East, Shiitake Mushrooms can been found during the spring and autumn months growing on decaying trees.
Cultivation of Shiitake mushrooms on oak logs has been practiced in Japan for centuries. In fact Shiitake mushrooms are the second most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. It has been a popular ingredient in asian cuisine for thousands of years.
Where to Find Shiitake Mushrooms In Europe and North America
Unfortunately in North America and Europe they are almost always commercially cultivated. So you can imagine my surprise when wandering through my local forests I often spot them the small frisbee-shaped caps growing on a rotting logs.
A don’t know if somebody in my local town has been deliberately planting logs out in the forest for harvesting later or they had thrown an old shiitake log into the woods, not knowing that the log still had some juice left in it.
Normally Shiitakes grow in groups on the decaying wood of deciduous trees. They particularly like chinquapin, chestnut, oak, maple, beech, poplar, hornbeam, ironwood, and mulberry.
The shiitake has a medium-sized, umbrella-shaped, tan to brown cap. The edges of the cap roll inwards towards the whitish, cream-coloured gills on the underside of the cap. The stem of the shiitake is white or cream but can turn brown as the mushroom grows larger. Caps grow anywhere from 5 to 15 cm (2 to 6”) in diameter.
Temperature strongly affects the mushrooms growth. Both the mycelia and the fruiting body growth of the Shittake mushroom need good conditions for growing well.
Where to Find Shiitake Mushrooms In Stores
Starting mid to late spring you may find dishes at high-end restaurants that have a touch of fresh morel. You may see fresh morels at farmers’ markets or high-end grocery stores but they deteriorate quite quickly. If properly managed they keep for about a week. The vast majority of morels are dried, this a good thing, and the majority of dried Canadian morels are exported. Global supply for morels rarely meets global demand and other countries are willing to pay top dollar. Domestic consumption for wild mushrooms is low in Canada and the U.S relative to Europe or Asia but is on the rise. Increasingly, you are able to buy dried morels at the retail level and if you you have a connection, you may be able to purchase them buy the pound.
Where to Find Shiitake Mushrooms Online
You can usually find them in supermarkets and most asian stores.
Why Bother Trying to Find Shiitake Mushrooms?
Many studies have shown that eating Shiitake mushrooms can suppress tumors and lower blood serum cholesterol. Scientific research have credited Shiitake help the body produce interferon, a natural substance which fights cancer cells and stimulates the immune system.
They are also rich in copper, selenium, iron, zinc, dietary fiber, and protein. It is also a good source of the B-complex, vitamin C and vitamin D.
Great Resources for Finding Shiitake Mushrooms
There are some great resources online for finding Shiitakes.
How to Grow Shiitake Mushrooms At Home
If you cannot find them in stores and they don’t grow wild near you, then why not try growing them at home?
If you wanted to learn how to grow shiitakes at home I would recommend having a read through our guide here. Shiitakes are probably one of the easiest mushrooms to grow online.