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Rare Japanese Gourmet Mushroom Found Growing Wild In Sweden

June 28, 2010: 02:20 PM EST
A university student in Sweden has discovered that the prized hon-shimeji mushroom, a savory and rare delicacy that can cost as much as much as $443 a pound in Japan, grows wild in Sweden. Hon-shimeji mushrooms were thought to grow only in Japan. But Swedish researchers using molecular techniques proved that the northern Swedish fungus is identical to the Japanese one. With another rare Japanese species, Tricholoma matsutake, the hon-shimeji is the most sought-after and expensive culinary mushroom in the Japanese market. Because the gourmet fungi have been in rapid decline, due to pest infestation of host trees, they are sold only by a few specialist dealers and served at exclusive restaurants. The hon-shimeji mushroom was found on sparse pine heaths and flat-rock forests in northern Sweden.
Henrik Sundberg, "Japanese Gourmet Mushroom Found in Sweden", Graduate thesis, not yet published, June 28, 2010, © University of Gothenburg
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