Maitake (Grifola frondosa) is another staple mushroom in Japanese cuisine. Its name could be translated as “dancing mushroom”. Sometimes it is said that its name comes from its superimposed layers that move with the wind as if they were dancing, but there is also a legend that those who found it in the forest began to dance with joy because it was a mushroom as scarce as valued for its culinary and healing properties. It is said that in feudal Japan it was worth its weight in silver.
This mushroom can also be found naturally in Montseny mountain range west of the coastal hills north of Barcelona, where the inhabitants of the villages of the region have appreciated it for a long time and have given it the name of Gírgola de Castanyer, because it often grows on fallen chestnut tree (Castany) trunks.
Preliminary studies suggest that Maitake:
Stimulates the immune system
Reduces blood pressure
Regulates blood glucose levels
Relieves chronic fatigue
Promotes beneficial bacteria and healthy gut flora