Mas Rajols Farm, 08511 Tavertet, Catalonia

NAMEKO

Nameko mushrooms (Pholiota nameko) are, after shiitake, the most widely cultivated and consumed mushrooms in Japan. Its name in Japanese means “slug mushroom”, as a thin gelatinous film covers its entire body. The nameko is a mushroom that grows in groups, sometimes very numerous, on the stumps or fallen trunks of broad-leaved trees. It is a fairly productive mushroom but it requires very specific conditions to bear fruit, so great knowledge and experience is needed to cultivate it.

IN THE KITCHEN


The nameko has a characteristic intense orange color maintained when cooked and a flavor with hints of earth, walnut and wood. Its viscous texture makes it a perfect ingredient to thicken creams and broths, which is why it has always been a widely used ingredient in Japanese soups, especially miso soup. To take full advantage of this quality, it needs a relatively long cooking time that allows it to release all its juices.

The meat of the nameko is firm, with a mild smell and taste, so if it is combined with other products with strong flavors, there is a risk that it will go a little unnoticed. However, in risottos, poultry stews or sautéed vegetables, it stands out by providing a peculiar and delicious touch. Although small in size, these mushrooms are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Preliminary studies suggest that Nameko:

Has great antioxidant power

Strengthens the immune system

Improves the function of the nervous system

Produces antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds

Protects the health of the bone system

Stimulates insulin production and its regulation in the body