Visiting the forest, you can often see interesting growths on the trunks of trees, somewhat reminiscent of flounder fish. In fact, these are woody mushrooms (xylophotes) that grow beautifully on old rotten trees in moist and damp forests. Simply put, these are all mushrooms that grow on wood.
Auricularia, a popular tree mushroom, is called by the Chinese mu er, which literally translates as "tree ears". The same mushroom in Japan is called kikurage - wood jellyfish. The area of their distribution is the countries of Asia and the entire Far East, including the Far Eastern regions of Russia. And oyster mushroom can be found in many forests of the European part.
These unpretentious residents, in addition to trees, can successfully live on straw, wet sawdust, cellulose and other materials. Their taste is more like seafood than the traditional taste of mushrooms. Tree mushrooms are distinguished by large, fleshy caps with short or long legs. The color range of the cap is quite diverse and depends on the place of growth and the subspecies of the mushroom. Young individuals wear hats of gray-blue color, which change with age to light brown, yellowish, white and even pink, but their flesh is only white.
What is hidden under the hat
Today, woody mushrooms are not very popular, and only a few people know that they are edible and useful. Their taste is soft with a rather delicate texture. They are literally stuffed with trace elements, vitamins B and C, and they have more iron, calcium and phosphorus than pork or chicken meat. The pulp of woody mushrooms contains 8 times more vitamin B3 than vegetables. Dishes from them must be included in the diet of people:
- anemic, with weakened immunity;
- suffering from arterial hypertension;
- with an increased level of acidity;
- with diabetes and obesity;
- with a high cholesterol reading.
Due to their soft texture, woody mushrooms perfectly complement meat dishes, are a part of salads and seafood dishes. And the medicinal properties of tree ears were known in ancient China. The Chinese claimed that they improve blood circulation, strengthen the immune system and accelerate metabolic processes.
The results of modern research have indeed confirmed that the composition of woody mushrooms contains chemical elements that slow down the formation of blood clots, which makes them an excellent means of preventing diseases of the circulatory and cardiovascular systems of the body.
Woody mushrooms are incredibly popular in Thailand, China and Vietnam. In Russia, they are more preferred by residents of Primorye, but in Europe, such mushrooms are not favored, explaining this by the absence of the traditional mushroom taste and smell.