Feasting Like Indulgent Royalty on Matsutake Mushrooms
Priceless Matsutake Mushrooms — 松茸 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/350 sec, f/3.2, ISO 800 — full exif
Priceless Matsutake Mushrooms — 松茸

Matsutake mushrooms more commonly
look like this

A friend of ours is a professional chef of the highest order (such that we can't possibly afford to eat at his restaurant), and today he unexpectedly gave us an amazing gift: two huge matsutake mushrooms.

Unlike the wild (and possibly poisonous) mushrooms we saw the other day, matsutake mushrooms are a rare delicacy, perhaps along the line of truffles in the west. Normally, they're tiny little stubs like those shown at right, which would take a good dozen just to cover the bottom of the basket we received.

Yet, even those little stubs are about $50 each, so it's not really possible to place a value on the humongous basket-overflowing specimens he gave us. We're really at a loss for words over this amazing gesture. (We may have to gesture back our firstborn or a couple of kidneys just to try to start to show our appreciation.)

I tried to refuse them, telling him over and over that such high quality would be wasted on us. He insisted, so I brought them home to a shocked Fumie.

We tried one right away.


Nikon D200 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — full exif
The Chefs Prepare

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — full exif
First Cut

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.6, ISO 1000 — full exif
Greasing the Pan

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 40mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — full exif
Arranging Them Just So
Huge Chunks of Matsutake -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — full exif
Huge Chunks of Matsutake

It's really not possible to overemphasize how completely gluttonous and excessive this is. I can't speak to how the $500-per-person restaurants might serve these mushrooms because I don't eat there, but an expensive bowl of Matsutake soup at an upscale restaurant might contain four or five very thinly sliced pieces that total a third of one of the chunks shown here.


Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/45 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — full exif
Into the Broiler

Particularly when cooking, their smell was exquisite, and it filled the house.


Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — full exif
Snack is Served, Your Highness

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Wow! This looked so good I almost swooned, and your description made it worse. Hope it tasted as good as the hype.

— comment by Grandma Friedl on July 15th, 2007 at 12:55am JST (10 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Yummy! (You can guess I like mushrooms.)

— comment by Anne on September 6th, 2012 at 6:33am JST (5 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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