Published by
Last Chance Foods

Amy Edding's Food for Thought: A Maitake Sampler

Email a Friend
Cultivated maitake, or hen of the woods

Whenever gardener, writer, forager and cook Marie Viljoen visits WNYC's studios, she comes bearing gifts. Delicious gifts, pulled out slowly, one by one, from her bag of delights.  

I know not to bite the hand that feeds me. I went easy on Marie. I ditched putting her through a grueling lightning round of questions and just captured her and my producer, Joy Y. Wang, enjoying her three different takes on maitaki mushrooms, our topic this week on Last Chance Foods.   

There was mushroom paté on homemade brown bread. There was a buttery spread made of maitaki that had been sauteéd in butter, then dehydrated.  Joy delighted in its crunchiness. And there was mushroom soup, served from a tall green thermos Viljoen brought in. Does Marie Viljoen ever sleep?

She also provided paper plates, napkins and little glasses for the soup. The mushroom-butter spread was in little blue and yellow dishes. "They were a buck at Pearl River," she said, when we protested her offer to take the spread home with us.

"I want her life," Joy confided to me.  

Well, we don't get that, but we did get her yummy kitchen productions. Note to self: Have Marie in to the studio more often.