Winter mushroom (Enokitake) - Flammulina velutipes
Syn.: Enoki Mushroom, The golden mushroom (Thailand), Nametake, Yuki-motase, Jin Zhen Gu
The Winter mushroom / Enokitake has a long tradition in Asian cuisine. One cultivation form of this mushroom is Enokitake. This type is produced under low lightening, in that way the mushroom makes small but very delicious fruiting bodies. The fruiting bodies have a diameter of 2-10 cm, the stem is 3-8 cm long. Enokitake produces white spores. It can be found in the cold and moderate climate zones on the northern hemisphere, e.g., China, Siberia, Asia Minor, Europe, North America and Japan; on the southern hemisphere in Australia.
Cultivation of Enokitake has a long tradition in China and was documented for the first time around 800 A.D. As soon as the fruiting bodies had grown to their full size, the cultivators of that time rubbed them on wood logs. With a bit of luck there was a good harvest in the year after. However, the use of spawn dowels, as practised today, is much more effective.