Red Chinese Mulberries
The Red Chinese mulberry tree is a broad, spreading bush or small tree dotted with small thorns. Like its mulberry relatives, the fruits are technically not a berries but rather aggregates of tiny fleshy drupes clustered around a single stem
Monterrey pears are a large variety from northern Mexico, botanically a cultivar of Pyrus pyrifolia. The Asian pear hybrid was selected from the tree of a popular southern Texas variety. Monterrey pears are a cross of European pear and a Japanese pear.
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Hanaiguchi mushrooms are a classic umbrella-capped mushroom with a characteristically sticky cap and thin, semi-woody stem. The caps have a burnt orange lid with cream colored interior. The texture of the Hanaiguchi can be described as supple to firm. The aroma of the bolete relative is reminiscent of its origins: earthy and woodsy. When cooked, Hanaiguchi mushrooms release a garlic-pine aroma and have a rich and toasty, umami (savory) flavor.
Hanaiguchi mushrooms can be found in the fall, though the younger mushrooms can be found in the summer months.
Hanaiguchi mushrooms, botanical name Suillus grevillei, are wild, edible mushrooms that are harvested from the wild for consumption. Hanaiguchi mushrooms are harvested by mushroom hunters who fan out across heavily wooded areas in remote Japan, spending months at a time in mostly obscure and undocumented regions. This is a common practice among foragers throughout not just Japan, but throughout timber communities around the world.
Mushrooms contain more iron and potassium than most other foods. Many of the Suillus species contain thiaminase; excessive consumption can lead to a vitamin B1 deficiency over time.
Hanaiguchi mushrooms are quite typically known as a soup mushroom, especially utilized for miso soup. Familiar and complimentary pairings include fermented soy, chiles, garlic, ginger, leeks, shallots, and foods cooked over charcoal or wood, chicory, butter, vinegars, other foods rich in umanmi such as seaweed, cheese, beer, braised meat, fermented soy and scallops, and spices such as cardamon, cumin and smoked pimientos.
Japan consumes more Hanaiguchi mushrooms than anywhere else as it has one of the highest per capita mushroom consumption in the world. Most popular in the Nagano prefecture in Japan, Hanaiguchi mushrooms are called “Rikobou.”
Hanaiguchi mushrooms grow wild and most conspicuously on green carpets of moss within the Larch forests of Japan. The Hanaiguchi's flamboyant orange hues make them easier to spot among the emerald forest floor versus many other nondescript forest mushrooms. In the wild, bolder colors among mushrooms are actually a natural defense mechanism signaling "do not touch", regardless of their potential edibility. Though the Hanaiguchu mushroom begins fruiting in the summer months it doesn't truly develop until after the weather cools and rainfall has increased the fungi's fullest growing potential.