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.
Dried Maitake Mushrooms
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Dried Maitake mushrooms are easy to distinguish versus other dried mushrooms because their fruiting body is made up of clustered leaf-like fronds. Their color varies from pure white to tan to brown depending on how much sunlight they received prior to harvest. Maitake's texture after being reconstituted is succulent and semi-firm. They are fruity, earthy and spicy in flavor and absorb companion flavors readily when cooked.
Dried Maitake mushrooms are typically available year-round.
The Maitake, meaning dancing mushroom in Japanese, is also known as hen of the woods, kumotake mushroom and sheep's head.
Maitakes have a hypoglycemic effect, essentially making them a natural food source to lower blood sugar. They are also mineral and vitamin rich.
Dried Maitake mushrooms may be used in place of fresh Maitake mushrooms. Reconstitute in water or stock and pair with tofu, steamed vegetables, rice or noodles. Combine with other dried, wild mushrooms in sauces or sides. Store dried Maitake mushrooms in an airtight container until ready to use.
Maitake mushrooms are native to the mountain forests of Northeastern Japan, where they received the name, phantom mushroom because of their rare presence. Today, Maitake mushrooms are cultivated to increase production and availability.