Eden Shiitake Mushrooms are oak log grown on the 'shii' tree Pasania cuspidata or Quercus cuspidata, two species of central and southern Japan. Logs are cut in the fall at about eight inches in diameter. Spores are inserted in drilled logs are placed in pine forests for an ideal amount of sun, shade, and moisture. In about eighteen months shiitake emerge. They grow until the logs have largely decayed, usually four or five years. Eden Shiitake Mushrooms are hand harvested when mature. The cap is thick, round, and tight. These are the finest grade of shiitake and are called 'donko'. Donko grade has the flavor that made shiitake the culinary star they are. Hand picked Eden Shiitake are slowly dried enhancing their savory, sparkling flavor.
Mushrooms are the only vegetable source of vitamin D. They contain the sterol ergosterol a precursor of vitamin D2, much like beta-carotene is a vegetable precursor of vitamin A. When exposed to light ergosterol is converted to vitamin D2. All mushrooms are a source of vitamin D2, but shiitake contain much more. The common button or white mushroom contain less than 1% daily value (DV) vitamin D per serving.Eden Eden Dried Whole Shiitake are an excellent source of vitamin D with 25% DV per serving. They are a good source of niacin B3 and fat and sodium free. According to the FDA, "Low fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables (foods that are low in fat and may contain dietary fiber, Vitamin A, or Vitamin C) may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors." Eden Shiitake Mushrooms are and excellent source of fiber providing 20 percent of the daily value (DV). "Also, "Diets low in sodium may reduce the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure, a disease associated with many factors."
Shiitake mushrooms Lentinula edodes are highly valued as food and tonic in the Far East where their cultivation began over 1,000 years ago. Shiitake are the second most common edible mushroom in the world after the white button mushroom. Shiitake have long been recognized as a health food, a quality attributed in part to their abundance of complex carbohydrates known as polysaccharides. Lentinan and lentinula edodes mycelium (LEM) are two polysaccharides in shiitake that scientists find contribute to building and maintaining a healthy immune system. Shiitake are believed to have anti-viral properties and support healthy liver function. Shiitake counteract the effects of excess salt and animal food.
Soak Eden Shiitake in cold water for two to five hours before cooking for maximum softness and flavor. Remove the tough tip of the stem and use it to flavor soup stocks and sauces or discard them. The soaking water can be saved for soup stock, or added to a recipe when additional water is called for. Slice the cap thinly, or quarter and dice it. Use as you would fresh shiitake or other fresh and dried mushrooms in stir fries, soups, stews, gravies and sauces. It can also be used to make Shiitake Tea, a macrobiotic home remedy. Try using Eden Shiitake in place of beef or bouillon cubes in French Onion Soup or in place of chicken in rice, noodle, and vegetable soups. Its sparkling flavor delights.