Paddock To Plate

Shiitake Mushroom Morsels

Find out more about shiitake mushrooms as featured in Paddock to Plate.

  • Most shiitake mushrooms are cultivated on sawdust which produces a higher yield yet lower quality product
  • Log cultivation is a lot more involved and labour intensive yet the end product is regarded to be superior in flavour.

• Tree and mushroom farmer Rob Wertheimer, harvests logs from his sustainable forest as part of the necessary thinning process.

• Once the 1 metre logs are gathered from the forest they are drilled full of holes and filled with the mycelium organism. These organisms eat away at the starch in the wood for 6-12 months at which point the logs are submerged in water for 24 hours to trick the mushroom into thinking there is a season change and it’s time to fruit. From here they grow to maturity in a few weeks and are then picked by hand.

• Nothing is wasted in the farming process, each log will host around 5 harvests before they become too rotten  and are turned into compost

• Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most cultivated edible mushrooms in the world and are native to Korea, China and Japan

• Whilst commonly thought to be a vegetable, the shitake mushroom is in fact a fungus that has no roots, seeds or flowers

• The shitake mushroom is thought to have wide ranging health benefits from lowering cholesterol, boosting the immune system to fighting cardiovascular disease and many forms of cancer

• Some of Melbourne’s top chefs such as Ben Shewry (Attica) and Shannon Beckett (Vue de Monde) are said to be big exponents of Robs Shiitake mushrooms.

• For more information contact Otway Shiitake Mushroom here 


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