Sonoma Matsutake Mushrooms

Tom Noble of Armstrong Valley Farm has the best of this seasons produce -hardy greens, citrus fruit and wild foraged mushrooms including the matsutake.   Tom has meyer lemons too!

The name matsutake means “pine mushroom” in Japan, where the local species, Tricholoma matsutake, grows in mycorrhizal association with Japanese red pines. About 15 other closely related species occur worldwide, including T. magnivelare, the American matsutake, which flourishes in coniferous forests across North America (and particularly in the Northwest and Northern California) with fir, spruce and pine, as well as tanoaks.

Japanese pay a premium for young, unopened matsutakes, before the veil between the cap and the stem breaks, which stay fresh better than more mature ones. (Matsutakes at this stage have a phallic appearance, and women at the imperial court at Kyoto once were forbidden to speak the mushroom’s name.) However, there’s no difference in flavo

From the

“The odor of the matsutake is its most distinctive–and hard to characterize–feature. “Spicy but a little bit foul” is what comes to my mind, though I like “a provocative compromise between ‘red hots’ and dirty socks” (Arora, 1986, p. 191). The matsutake taste is as distinctive as the odor: “an incredible and complex flavor you won’t ever forget–even though you won’t be able to adequately describe it to anyone” (Volk, 2000).”

From Honest Food, some ideas about how to use matsutakes.  Recipes that capture the aroma are the best.