October 29, 2014


Today, I bought a box of five small matsutake for around 600 yen. Not real matsutake but matsutake lookalikes Tricholoma caligatum (oushuu (European) matsutake in Japanese) from Turkey.

In Japan, matsutake is highly prized for its aroma, while the rest of the world simply dismisses it as smelling a combination of "Red Hots (cinnamon candies) and dirty socks". Matsutake contains more than 60 aroma components, such as 1-Octen-3-ol and Methyl cinnamate. The former is contained in not only matsutake but also many other mushrooms such as shiitake. It's also contained in small quantities in the essential oils of lavender, pennyroyal, and other mint plants. It is also found in beer, meat, and soybeans, among others. The latter is contained in fruits like strawberry and some varieties of basil, among others.


日本では、マツタケはその香りのため高く評価されていますが、外国では、「Red Hots(シナモンキャンディー)と汚れた靴下」を合わせたような香りがすると嫌われています。マツタケには、マツタケオール(1-オクテン-3-オール)やメチルシンナメート(ケイ皮酸メチル)など香味成分が60種類以上含まれています。前者は、マツタケだけでなく、シイタケなど他の多くのきのこにも含まれています。ラベンダー、ペニーロイヤルなどミント類の精油にも少量含まれています。また、ビール、肉、大豆などにも見つかっています。後者はイチゴなどの果物や数種のバジルに含まれています。
I also bought a bag of eryngii for 98 yen.
Next to the eryngii is Matsutake no aji osuimono from Nagatanien. It's a long selling product of the manufacturer, released in 1964.
エリンギの隣りにあるのは永谷園の「松茸の味 お吸いもの」です。1964年に発売された、この会社のロングセラー商品です。

The matsutake were very soily, but
I used only a wet paper towel to remove the soil. It is generally considered that matsutake should not be washed with water because otherwise you would lose much of its aroma.

Sudachi that came with the matsutake, cut in half.
I decided to make "matsutake no foil yaki".
First, whittle the end of each matsutake diagonally (as if to sharpen a pencil), make a small cross cut at the end, and tear the matsutake lengthwise into four strips. Wrap the strips in aluminum foil. (Usually, sprinkle some salt and add some sake, but I left out both.) Heat in the toaster oven for 8-10 minutes.

Sadly, I found one matsutake worn-eaten.
We had them with sudachi juice and soy sauce.

My family was all disappointed by the lack of aroma.

For comparison, I will cook the eryngii mushrooms with the Matsutake no aji osuimono in the near future.
比較のため、エリンギを松茸の味 お吸いものと一緒に調理してみます。

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