Maitake means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese and has always been attributed to the feeling of joy.
In Japan, it can grow to a weight of 44 pounds, this giant mushroom owning the title of “King of Mushrooms.” Maitake is one of the most widely used mushrooms in Asian cuisine.
Maitake mushrooms can be eaten alone as food but can also be used as a miracle supplement for various ailments. The active substance in Maitake is called beta-glucan. It strengthens the immune system, fights colds, flu, and even cancer.
How much do Maitake mushrooms cost?
Maitake mushrooms are one of the few species that can be found fresh. Fresh maitakes typically cost somewhere between $18 and $27 per pound, depending on where you purchase them from and how large your order is. An ounce-sized package purchased online will usually run about $7 or more.
You can buy a 16-ounce bag of Maitake Mushrooms from a gourmet grocery store or online for $28 to $45.
If you want a smaller quantity, budget around $8 for a small bag of pre-cut Maitake Mushrooms that weigh less than one ounce.
A one-ounce dried mushroom package can be purchased from some companies like Mycological for $8 to $12.
The price of one mushroom that is not cut, dried, or packed is somewhere between $7 and $12. The cost may get lower if you buy a larger amount.
Maitake Mushrooms details
The most popular type of mushroom package is going to be cut, dried, or just come as a fungus. It will then get sealed, airtight, and tightly packed in order not to spoil before you can use it. Pay attention to the validity term because many don’t last too long.
Maitake mushrooms, botanically classified as Grifola frondosa, are edible mushrooms that are grown for culinary and medicinal use. Also known as Hen of the Woods for resembling a chicken’s feathers, Maitake mushrooms have many names, including Klapperschwamm, Laubporling, Polypore en touffe, Kumotake mushroom, Ram’s head, and sheep’s head. Maitake mushrooms thrive in temperate hardwood forests and are commonly found growing from the dead roots of oak, elm, and maple.
What are the extra costs?
Typically, you’ll need to purchase your mushrooms online, so it’s possible that shipping could come with an additional cost. Most types of mushrooms don’t require climate-controlled trucks or dry ice, so they’re usually shipped just fine and arrive in good shape.
Important things to consider
If you want to improve your health by consuming Maitake mushrooms, you can add them to any recipe to which you would normally add mushrooms. They can be added to fried dishes, in salads, pasta, pizza, omelets, or soups. You can also enjoy them as they come, hardened in a little butter, or grilled.
Maitakes have a strong, earthy taste, so make sure you like their flavor before adding them in large quantities to dishes.
Maitake wild mushrooms are available in late summer to late autumn, while cultivated versions are available year-round.
The best specimens are those with a firm texture, without stains, and without mud on the surface. If you are looking for a delicate taste, dark mushrooms are what you need, and light ones will give you a strong aroma. Before cooking, dehydrated mushrooms should be left in water to regain their fleshy texture, and fresh ones should be kept cold, wrapped in a cotton towel or paper bag for up to a week.
Maitake mushrooms should be consumed within three to five days of purchase, or they will start losing flavor. If you don’t need them right away, just transfer them from the refrigerator bag onto an air-tight container before freezing for later use.
There are warnings about allergies to these mushrooms. You should be very careful if you haven’t had them before because some people have reported an allergic reaction from their consumption.
You can also find Maitake in powder or capsule form. You can use them as food supplements. The dosage depends on age, weight, and health, so it is best to consult your doctor before taking supplements with Maitake.
Maitake mushrooms are low in calories but very rich in nutrients such as:
- Polysaccharide (beta-glucan)
- Amino acids
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
All these nutrients of the fungus ensure an optimal level of blood sugar, regulate cholesterol levels, and reduce blood pressure.
How can I save money?
When shopping for mushrooms, consider where they are grown and how. You may be able to save a significant amount of money by purchasing locally or organically rather than ordering them online.
If you purchase by the pound, then your discount will increase with each additional pound. Some markets are more than happy to offer discounts for those who buy in bulk.