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FOOD

Shake some shiitake powder into just about anything

Sprinkle it into sauces, soups, stews, sautéed vegetables — even ice cream! — for an earthy richness and umami boost

Sugimoto Forest-grown Shiitake Powder from Japan.Handout

In Japan, the Sugimoto family continues a thousand-year-old agricultural tradition of cultivating shiitake mushrooms in the forests on sawtooth oak logs that bear the sweetest sap. Using an innovative far-infrared process, Sugimoto’s shiitakes are later dried, preserving their character and taste. The company sells the dried shiitakes worldwide and also a powder ground from them. The woodsy powder is easy to use. Sprinkle it into sauces, soups, stews, sautéed vegetables, or just about anything savory for an earthy richness and umami boost. The more you add, the more you ramp up the flavor of the foods. It lends itself to experimentation — swirl a dusting into mayonnaise. It will warm the flavor of vanilla ice cream. Sugimoto Forest-grown Shiitake Powder ($12.99 for 1.4 ounces) is available at amazon.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.