21 Oct 2012

松茸 matsutake






Autumn has officially arrived!
And autumn is the season for food; though not just any food  -- it's time to enjoy good food.

Last weekend, I received the perfect delicacy to mark the beginning of such a great season:

A rare, highly sought after, and super expensive King of the Japanese mushroom -- Matsutake!

Like anything else, there are cheaper ones from Korea and China, but this one was an authentic one. It came from Tanba city in Kyoto, famous for its high quality produce of matsutake, a lot of which are exclusively bought in by top class Japanese restaurants, i.e. it is very hard for ordinary people like me to get hold of it.
Also, "how expensive?" you might wonder: for a good one, it costs about 200AUD equivalent for 100grams. (I think.)


Look the size of it! It was MASSIVE.

(外国では「軍人の靴下の臭い」、学名のTricholoma nauseosumはラテン語で「吐き気(nausea)をもよおさせるキシメジ」という意味で(wikipediaより)本気で悪臭として扱われるそうですね。)

After taking these photos, my hand smelt like the mushroom. Matsutake's distinct smell is in fact one of its charms that people love about, but it's actually somewhat unpleasant. To prove it, the smell is compared to "a solider's socks'", and its botanical name -- Tricholoma nauseous -- literally means "Tricholoma species that induce nausea".

While the rice got cooked (Mum cooked it with rice - a typical way of eating it), the room was filled with the funny smell too, and I was like "My, oh my. Maybe it doesn't taste as nice as they say...?"





Ah, how wrong I was!
It was simply delicious.
And it was just wonderful to be able to enjoy so much of it. I had it for dinner and also for breakfast the next morning. What a fancy way to start a day.

I now feel like a real connoiseur! hehe. :)

xxx Maiko

Find Maiko also at:  ok.iam  usamamanikki  Draw Me by Maiko

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