Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hen of the Woods Mushroom

I noted in my last post that Judy picked up some morel mushrooms for me from Whole Foods before I went vegan. At the same time she picked up a hen of the woods mushroom as well. 
hen of the woods mushroom
I did a post three years ago that covered several kinds of mushrooms, including the maitake, which is the Japanese name for the hen of the woods. At that time I was not really impressed. Compared to the chanterelle and king oyster mushrooms we were also eating, they came in decidedly last in terms of taste and texture. However, on our anniversary last year, we ate at a restaurant in Waterbury, Vermont, called Hen of the Wood, a very high-end, locally grown vegetables and meat restaurant. Their signature dish is called the "hen of the wood," which was hen of the wood mushroom, poached egg, bacon crisped in maple syrup, all on toast. It was the best thing we ate out of a wonderful meal. So when Judy brought me this hen of the wood mushroom, 
I had a different thought process about it and a new appreciation for it. Attitude can make a huge difference in how we appreciate and enjoy food. Further, now that I have been on a number of mushroom forays with Andrew, I understand more the thrill of the mushroom hunt, and the excitement of finding an unusual type of mushroom. So I was able to really enjoy and appreciate the intricate beauty of this mushroom, 
how it was packaged and pulled apart. 
And after frying it in oil and butter, 
I really enjoyed the plumpy moistness and fullness of the flesh. 
And this time, instead of comparing it to chanterelles, probably my favorite mushroom, I was comparing it to morels, which I have not learned to appreciate as much yet. This time, my appreciation for the hen of the woods was much greater, I thought of Vermont, I thought of mushroom hunting with Andrew and Sam, and goodness came to life. 


  1. It is amazing what a little bit of experience and education can do, isn't it?

  2. i am a farmer at heart but live in the suburbs. growing these would make this inner farmer very happy.

    spore syringe