5.000 x 4.000 inches
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Beverley Harper Tinsley
Painting - Watercolor And Graphite
This delicious shiitake mushroom was painted in preparation for, and in honor of the annual Telluride Mushroom Festival, or Shroomfest, after which it joined some others in a chicken rosemary canellini bean recipe. Are you hungry, yet? Indeed, it was delicious.
A single, scrumptious shiitake mushroom, golden brown and shapely rests on a contrasting deep blue background.
This mushroom is the second most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. It has been a popular food source in the cuisine of Asia for hundreds of years. In America, we have enjoyed it in Chinese and Japanese restaurants. Following recent improvements in cultivating techniques, it is rapidly becoming a favorite in markets and on dining tables in the United States and Canada. In addition, people can now grow it at home using simple kits prepared by mushroom specialty companies.
Shiitake -- Click for larger image
The shiitake has a medium-sized, umbrella-shaped, tan to brown cap. The edges of the cap roll inwards. The underside and stem are white. You will find many variations when you shop for this mushroom.
It has been estimated that the origin of shiitake mushrooms can be traced to the cretaceous period, over one hundred million years ago. It is found growing wild in the mountainous regions of China, Japan, Indonesia, and Taiwan. The scattering of shiitake spores has been traced using typhoon wind patterns as the mushrooms were dispersed from one to the other of these countries. It is not found wild in the United States or elsewhere.
In China it is called dongo and shanku. When served in Chinese restaurants here it is called "the black forest mushroom." The Japanese call the most highly prized and priced specimens donko. These have closed caps. Koshin types (spring season variety) have open caps and are less expensive.
The Chinese were the first to cultivate this mildly fragrant mushroom more than six hundred years ago. Yield and quality varied from year to year until scientific techniques were developed. Japanese scientists developed a method of inserting pencil-shaped plugs of mycelial spawn grown from specially selected varieties of Lentinus edodes into holes bored in oak logs. Carefully watched over in the forest, the prepared logs carried out the work that supported the entire shiitake industry. Today it is grown in the United States as well as in Asian countries on a variety of materials containing cellulose, such as sawdust enriched with rice bran. It is sold fresh as well as dried.
In Japan and China the chemicals found in shiitakes have been analyzed for medicinal properties. Extracts have been used in treating cancer, and claims have been made that they reduce cholesterol, enhance sexual power, prolong life, kill viruses, and improve circulation. Most people will be skeptical of such panaceas, but at the very least, this is the most enjoyable way of taking medicine we have experienced. Read Mushrooms As Health Foods by Kisaku Mori if you want to know more about the subject.
Some words used to describe this painting are:
fournissent les bois, the woods provide, mushroom, mushrooms, shiitake, shiitakes, shiitake mushrooms, eat, food, forest, nature, woods, trees, fungus, fungi, telluride mushroom festival, shrooms, shroomfest, earth, earthy, earth tones, brown, gold, foody, foodie, gourmet, cook, cooking, chef, kitchen, foray, hunt, gather, harvest, fall, autumn, delicious, taste, raw, wild, watercolor, beverley harper tinsley, saute, edible mushroom, edible mushrooms, asia, asian, Lentinula edodes, Oakwood, yum, warm, warm colors, warm tones
July 29th, 2013
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