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Sep 30, 2010 04:46 PM

Does anyone hate the smell of Shiitake mushrooms?

I LOVE cooking with Shiitake Mushrooms, but my new roommate has made it clear she finds the smell overly pungent, difficult to take. Has anyone ever heard of this? She's being sincere, and we trade off because I tolerate her really strong cheeses, but I've never heard of anyone feeling that shiitake mushrooms "stink."

Anyone encounter this before?

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  1. This is very sincere. Sometimes I cannot take fresh shiitake because of the smell, though the rehydrated shiitakes are fine for me and I love all types of mushrooms! I stil eat them.

    1. It definitely has a unique scent to it.

      I'm sure there are those that find it off-putting. I know my entire house is filled with shitake "scent" when I sautee or stir fry those suckers. I enjoy it, but not sure I would rank it up there with such things as freshly baked bread or bbq meats.

      1. I can buy the "hates the smell" part, but not that she claims it's "overly pungent" given her strong cheese love. But hey, smell, like taste, is intensely personal.

        What does she think of the taste? Or does the smell also make her not want to eat them? Does she feel this way about all mushrooms?

        I also have never met a mushroom I didn't love, so can understand your desire to cook with shiitakes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Quine

          I, too, love shiitakes. The dried ones actually have more intense flavor than the fresh ones.

          I bet that we could start a thread entitled "I hate the smell (or taste) of _____" and fill in the blank with ANY food and there would be some who would agree.

        2. I don't know what part of the country you're from. Here at where I live, I have yet to find a store that sells good shitake mushrooms. Good ones are not overly big, the underside of the mushroom should be fairly white and not yellow, and the cup should be thick. Compared to the ones I receive from Asia, the ones sold in America are horrible and do stink if cooked in large batches! To a point that I've given up making dishes with lots of shitake until I get my hands on the good Asian ones.

          They should smell earthy and not overly pungent, if at all. Ask your roommate if she likes porcini mushrooms because it also has a pretty strong smell.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cutipie721

            Where do you live that you can get fresh shitakes from Asia?

            I live in NJ but have attended Paul Stamet's Mushroom seminars( In WA) and have grown some of my own oysters and shitakes as well a some few others.

            I agree that porcini also has a much more distinctive scent than the common white button mushrooms, but then again I would not call it a "strong" smell. Personally, I think that smell is part of the ID of mushrooms for me. Sorta like wine and cheese people, smell is very much a part of what makes mushrooms great.

            1. re: Quine

              Sorry, should have mentioned it, my bad!! I don't like fresh shitakes, at least the ones I've had so far, both in Asia and America. I like them "al dente" :-)

              1. re: Quine

                I got a shiitake spawn kit from Stamets by way of a creative friend. The shrooms were awesome despite that fact that I live in a single degree humidity area. I had a lot of real estate and autonomy at work at the time, so i set up a mini greenhouse at work with good humidity. I never found the scent to be bad, to make a long story longer. People have different triggers.

            2. I can only consume or cook w/them in smell doses. The smell, the taste and the texture are too much for me. I like a lot of other mushrooms, but not shitakes. On the rare occasion I use them I combine them with another mushroom like oyster. OTOH, I love stinky cheeses and like cheese stores a lot.

              2 Replies
              1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                TY!!! My personal *ping!* pool had this subject at an under 10 post . And , while, not that I have seen alot of your posts...we've always seem to the agree side. NICE to find.

                texture was the next question I was thinking of asking. They * do * have that .

                Personally, now I am waiting for alkapal to comment, Anyone in for an under 20 post? :-)

                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                  That's weird- I'dnever heard of an aversion to the smell of shiitakes, but if it's like cilantro, I guess I can see it. Although I ove cilantro and would gladly eat a pound of it every day raw and crunchy, some folks get a bad taste of soap.