Latin name: Grifola frondosa
The name Maitake comes from the Japanese word ‘mai’ (dance) and take (mushroom), or the ‘dancing mushroom’.
This mushroom ranges in colour from pure white to brownish grey. Exposure to direct sunlight turns it darker. The overlapping caps resemble a pile of leaves, giving the effect of dancing butterflies.
Flavour and use
The Maitake is a polypore, a mushroom that has spores in tubes instead of gills. The tubes are very tightly packed and are scarcely visible.