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The Snow mushrooms grow in branched clusters, their stems meeting at a substrate base, which holds them together and allows them to grow. Their rounded umbrella caps are loosely positioned atop their slender fragile stems. Snow mushrooms have a brittle texture and sharp bitter flavor when uncooked. Cooking the mushrooms reveals a sweet mild flavor and a supple texture.
Snow mushrooms are commercially cultivated and available year-round in China where it is one of the most popular fungi. Snow mushrooms in dried form are exported from China through-out the globe.
The Snow mushroom, Tremella fuciformis, has many aliases and thus can be confused for several other mushroom varieties: Silver Ear Mushroom White Jelly Fungus White Fungus White Tree Fungus.
Snow mushrooms are used as a beauty product by women in China and Japan. Snow mushrooms contain an enzyme that improves moisture retention in the skin allowing for the reduction of wrinkles.
Add to soups and stir fries at the end of preparations to keep them from falling apart. Can also be used as a thickener in soups and sauces due to its jelly like texture when cooked. To store fresh mushrooms, wrap in paper towels; refrigerate. Use within a day or two after purchase for optimum quality.
Used as a delicacy food in China for many years, Snow mushrooms are enjoyed in rock candy syrup, usually served in the middle of a banquet. Chinese markets offer them canned in syrup. It is claimed if eaten, they will help in having a long and unblemished life.
Snow mushroom are cultivated on natural logs or on a synthetic medium, substrates composed of sawdust, grain and organic agricultural waste in a climate controlled dark environment for nutrition and uniform growth.