mushroom picking permits - Available starting Tuesday for purchased from 8 a.
PRIZED IN JAPAN FOR THEIR ANTIQUITY, RARITY, EROTIC SHAPE, AND COMPLEX FRAGRANCE, THE MATSUTAKE
(PINE MUSHROOM) has attained something approaching samurai status.
Easily cultivated and common wild mushrooms are often available in markets and those that are more dicult to obtain - such as the prized true and matsutake
- may be collected on a smaller scale by private gatherers.
Tsing A, 2010, "Worlding the matsutake
diaspora or, can actor-network theory experiment with holism", in Experiments in Holism: Theory and Practice in Contemporary Anthropology
Each night he has one planned for vegetarians, with evocative offerings that might include a Douglas fir custard embellished with matsutake
mushrooms, or pumpkin with walnut miso crispy kale and a quivering soft-cooked egg.
It takes a few tries, but eventually he holds up the prize: a Matsutake
mushroom with a cap as big as his fist and worth every ounce of effort required to retrieve it.
Mushrooms: bearded tooth, bolete, cauliflower, chanterelle, coral fungi, fairy ring, maitake, lobster, matsutake
, mousseron, oyster, porcini, puffball, shaggy mane, shiitake, sulfur shelf, wood blewit
Burnley-based chef Spencer Burge uses a EUR750 beef fillet, Chinese matsutake
mushrooms worth more than EUR3,000, truffles, two bottles of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild red wine costing more than EUR6,000, and a gold leaf topping.
Japan mainly imports fish, coal and matsutake
mushrooms from the country.
A feature story on matsutake
from Mexico City, headlined, ''Matsutake
exports helps indigenous communities in Mexico,'' and sent earlier, is accompanied by one photo, which is available via e-mail.
The Foreign Ministry on Friday promised lawmakers supporting families of Japanese abducted to North Korea to look into media reports that North Korea had presented a gift of matsutake
mushrooms to Japan during last month's summit talks.