The much awaited part two....
I gained a new appreciation for architectural beauty at the Farmers Market last Saturday. I love the idea of food as art and this was like seeing a Gaudi building. At the far side of the market, a man with large hands, well seasoned with fresh earth, cut piece off an enormous ruffly mushroom. Called Hen of the Woods, or Maitake in Japanese, this is a great fungi. Maitake means "dancing mushroom" and that's just what it looks like, a lady's skirt flying across the floor. Or, I suppose, maybe it means you'll dance when you find it!
I can't wait to use this mushroom. Though the fall season isn't nearly long enough fully expound on this guy, it fresh-freezes very well. It's also great for you. Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital has conducted some serious research with this fungi, and found some serious results. Anti-cancer and anti-diabetic elements are only the beginning. It's also great for immune system support, hypertension relief and high cholesterol reduction. But the Chinese said it best, the Maitake balances the systems of your bodies. I like that. How can you not??
References: Sloan Kettering, americanmushrooms.com, and admittedly a little wikipedia.