Far West Fungi manager Ian Garrone describes what you should be looking for when buying a shiitake mushroom. Just what are those white spots on the top of the cap?
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What you’re looking for is actually a nice white gill structure on there. If there’s any kind of spots on there, it might be moisture damage and it’s not necessarily a bad thing but it probably won’t last as long as it would if it was perfectly clear. A lot of people think that these flecks are actually a white mold or imperfection in the Shitake and actually it’s a little bit of mycelium as it grows through its block of saw dust it picks up a little bit of this white and it’s something that you want because if a lot of people are touching it, it disappears. A little white skin there shows that it hasn’t been handled a great deal.