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What do wood ears taste like?

By: Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Vegans and vegetarians, listen up now! Although ‘ear’ may sound like meat, this ingredient has absolutely no connection with animal products. Wood ears are simple tree mushrooms that we have all come across without knowing it. Keyword: Asian wok dishes.

The ingredient that is often mistaken for a morel is actually the wood ear mushroom described here today. But even though we have enjoyed them many times, most of us don’t really know what these tree-growing sponge-like plants actually taste like.

Variable in taste

This is simply because wood ears “listen to” the taste of their surroundings – and can adapt almost perfectly from a culinary perspective. They retain their consistency well compared to some of the other vegetables in the same dish. And this consistently is extremely characteristic of the mushroom: leatherlike, combined with a texture similar to jelly. Some people think it’s taste is similar to seaweed.

 

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Incidentally, the slightly slippery sensation in the mouth is the only similarity this mushroom has with the earthy, truffle-like morel in terms of taste. Which brings us back to the matter of taste: musty is probably the only taste that can be attributed to this ingredient known internationally as the Mu-Err mushroom.

Positive effect on health

It may not make our taste buds sing on its own, but this mushroom is great for the rest of our body thanks to its extremely high proportion of the extraordinary carbohydrate beta-glucan, which makes up 50 percent of the ingredient. The human body cannot process this itself, which is why the carbohydrate combines with cholesterol in our digestive system and transports it out of our bodies. The wood ear mushroom is also a real stress killer thanks to its antioxidant properties.

 

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Speaking of killers, this not-so-exotic mushroom is known as the wood ear mushroom because of its ear-like shape. It also mainly grows on elder trees. According to the Bible, this was the type of tree that Judas hung himself from after his betrayal of Jesus, which is the reason for the mushroom’s other name, ‘Judas’s ear’. A story that is probably just as tasteless as the mushroom itself.

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