When I first tasted Chinese Black Mushrooms back in the mid 1980’s, they were not at all well known in my corner of the world. They were introduced to me by a Chinese room-mate I had in my second year of law school and it is quite a few years before I ever saw them for sale in local stores. Since then, though, they have become a staple in my pantry and I would say that rarely a week passes that I do not include them in at least one meal or another.
These days, the dried, and even the fresh variety, are fairly easy to come by and most people are somewhat familiar with them, albeit usually by the Japanese name, ‘Shiitake’. Still, although the mushrooms are almost ubiquitous, and the number of people who have never tasted them is diminishing, they don’t yet seem to be common in the kitchens of non-Asian Canadians. This is a shame really, as, aside from being extremely versatile, these little fungi, in their dried form, pack an umami punch that is nothing short of amazing… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Chinese Dried Black Mushrooms (Shiitake)”