Nameko mushroom / Bundelzwam
Nameko mushrooms never grow alone - hence their unofficial name: cluster mushroom.
Japan's second favorite mushroom, used a lot in miso soup and stir fries. You can recognize nameko mushrooms by their shiny round caps. The cap is covered in a layer of naturally occurring gelatin, which disappears when cooked. However, the mushroom does become slightly jellylike. Besides thickening sauces and soups, a substance in the nameko called polysaccharide has proven to function as a pretty good anti-inflammatory agent.
A substrate mixture of wood and nutrients has been inoculated with Nameco mushroom spores. The spores multiply and spread through the substrate. This stage, called “spawn run”, lasts approximately 2 weeks.
At this stage, called “primordia formation”, the root structure of the mushrooms, the mycelium, has now spread throughout the substrate, causing the entire block to harden. This stage lasts between 7-10 days.
The final stage is ‘fruitbody development’. Once fruitbodies are seen, the plastic casing is taken off 3/4 of the substrate block in order to allow the mushrooms to grow. The mushrooms are now ready to be harvested. This stage lasts between 5-8 days.