Wakasa Matsutake Mushrooms: Autumn Aroma & Supreme Texture

Wakasa Matsutake Mushrooms: Autumn Aroma & Supreme Texture

Oi, Fukui Prefecture: Overwhelming Demand, Awaiting Supply

   KANEICHI, a supermarket located in Oi Town-Natashomie within Fukui Prefecture, began receiving a supply of Wakasa matsutake mushrooms, which is recognized as a “flavour of autumn”. The season for matsutake mushrooms has been late compared to past years, but its fragrance, tenderness, and springy texture has remained consistent. With approximately 30 pending orders by October 28, there has been a struggle to keep up with the deluge of orders.
   According to the store manager, Toshiro Tanaka (aged 51), the multiple consecutive typhoons striking Japan caused the temperature to fluctuate wildly, effectively delaying the growth and maturation of the mushrooms. Being 2 weeks later than the average year, the arrival of goods began from mid-October. The supermarket only deals with local Natashomie produce.
   “I wish people will enjoy the fragrance”, says Tanaka, recommending to taste grilled matsutake mushrooms, and matsutake mushroom rice.
   October 28th saw the current season’s largest haul of matsutake mushrooms at around 20 pieces (2 kilograms), with all mushrooms going to those who have already made reservations. Up to now, there has been approximately 40 pending orders from various clients, ranging from local residents to traditional Japanese restaurants in Kyoto; and with each day, there been 2 or 3 additional orders.
   “If you’re feeling lucky, you can line up along the storefront”, says Tanaka.
   The number of mushrooms received are still low, about half compared to a normal year. The price has subsequently been affected, being 20% higher than normal at ¥6,000 to ¥13,000 per 100 grams. Harvesting period is expected to end during the first half of November.
   “This is a typical autumn scene; as much as possible, I wish to meet the demands of the many people in wait”, says Tanaka, hopeful for the second half of the incoming supply of mushrooms.

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