The Hen of the Woods

Maitake or Hen of the Woods is one of the easiest to identify and nutritious mushrooms found in North America.

| October 2016

  • Maitake is known for being more nutritionally beneficial than most common mushrooms nutrients, Vitamins B, C and niacin, minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, selenium, protein, amino acids, and fiber.
    Photo by Leda Meredith
  • In “The Forager’s Feast” by Leda Meredith you will find delicious wild edible plants and mushrooms are abundant throughout North America, not only in the wilderness but in urban areas, too. Learn how to identify, harvest, and eat the tastiest plants in your backyard. Intended as much for the cooking enthusiast as for the survivalist, this book includes recipes that will transform even the most common edible backyard weeds into guest-worthy fare.
    Cover courtesy The Countryman Press

In The Forager's Feast (The Countryman Press, 2016), by Leda Meredith, even experienced foragers will be impressed with plantain leaf chips that are crisper and tastier than kale chips. Dandelion flowers become wine, Japanese knotweed becomes rhubarb-like compote and tangy sorbet, red clover blossoms give quick bread a delightfully spongy texture and hint of sweetness.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Forager’s Feast.

When a forager says, “I found hen today,” he isn’t talking about poultry. He is talking about one of the best and easiest to identify edible wild mushrooms: hen of the woods, also known as maitake.

Find

Grifola frondosa grows in large clumps at the base of trees (especially oak trees) and on tree stumps. It has a firm, fleshy but tender texture. Maitake sometimes appears to be growing on lawn or bare ground, but if you look up or dig around you’ll realize it is growing on buried wood or tree roots.



Identify

When I said large clumps, I meant large, sometimes measuring as much as 2 feet across. The clumps look like big corsages made up of gray, brown, and/or off-white ruffles. The layers have pores on their cream-colored undersurface rather than gills.

Beginners might confuse turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor) with maitake. Turkey tail is much smaller and usually spread out along a log rather than in a rounded clump at the base of a tree trunk. It is thin, tough, and leathery or papery, rather than tender and meaty like maitake. Although it has medicinal properties and sometimes the flavor is interesting enough for soup stocks and infusions, the texture is pretty much shoe leather (unlike the firm but tender texture of hen of the woods).



Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds