What is useful muer mushroom?
In appearance, the muer mushroom does not resemble ordinary mushrooms at all: it has a slight smell of smoke, slightly sweet and crunchy flesh, and looks more like burning paper than a food product. However, the exotic appearance does not make it less useful - the amazing nutritional qualities of the muer have long been valued in Asian countries.
By the way, its healing characteristics were used in the Far East, as it often grows in this territory. The people of the product due to the unusual form received several names: the most popular Judah ear and ear of a tree. It prefers to grow in deciduous forests and temperate climates and is highly popular in many Asian countries.
Characteristics and appearance
At first muer, or auricularia, was used as food only in Japan and China. Over time, the muer mushroom became widespread in the West: until some time it was not used in a dried form until, by lucky chance, this species came under the influence of water and took on its original form.Now very often products can be found in shops with oriental dishes, and it is sold at a fairly affordable price.
This product is quite unlike traditional types: caps have a characteristic wrinkling and do not exceed 10 cm in diameter, the thickness of the caps is no more than 4-5 mm. The pulp of freshly cut ears has a jelly-like consistency, without possessing any characteristic odor.
Over time, the color changes from slightly violet to violet-brown. In addition, age can be determined by the texture: the more dense and coarser, the older the ear of the tree.
Singly, auricularia does not grow: most often its colonies can be found on the surface of deciduous trees, but sometimes there are also varieties that grow on conifers.
Undoubtedly, their favorite plants are alder and elder, but at the moment, due to the lack of wild-growing species among the population of China, they are grown in specialized nurseries, using straw and tree substitutes as a substrate.
Advantages and disadvantages
The fungus won its popularity in the world for good reason: the useful properties of the dish are truly outstanding, and the taste is very rich.The uniqueness of the product is that it is rich in protein, vitamins, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and other trace elements.
In terms of protein concentration, this food is often compared to meat, while using it you can lose weight, but not suffer from deficiencies in the various elements necessary for the body. In addition, it helps improve immunity and prevent infections.
It should be said about the amazing antioxidant properties of the abalone of the tree, as well as the fact that it contains special enzymes that prevent blood clots. In the composition there is also nicotinic acid, which is known for its beneficial regenerative functions. By consuming the product for food, it is possible not only to protect the body from external adverse effects, but also to renew the cells, as well as protect them from aging.
Iodine also contains iodine, which has a beneficial effect on the thyroid gland - along with traditional Japanese products - sibuki and chuka - it helps restore its functions and eliminates iodine deficiency.
In addition, the pulp contains polysaccharides: they prevent the formation of cancer cells and help strengthen the immune system.Various extracts, tinctures or ointments created on the basis of Muera help to heal wounds and skin ailments.
Such food will be useful to everyone who suffers from anemia and hypertension, diabetes and obesity, because it helps reduce cholesterol levels and normalizes the cardiovascular system. Regular use helps to cope with increased gastric acidity, soothes inflammation of the gastrointestinal mucosa.
Some scientists find similar effects of such food with the action of the antibiotic. It is believed that the normalization of water metabolism is also subject to this fungus - it is used for edema, especially on the legs.
Despite these characteristics, the fungus can cause harm to those with a history of liver disease, allergies, and anyone suffering from dermatitis or eczema. By itself, this fungus is not poisonous, and, in addition, has no poisonous counterparts.
However, sometimes it can absorb harmful components from the environment if it grows in an environmentally unfavorable area. In addition, the high content of chitin in the composition is a contraindication for the use of food by children,because their body is not yet adapted to such a load.
Where does it apply?
Very often, the muer mushroom is used in cooking and alternative medicine. Often the plant is added to sauces and seasonings, served with meat, fish and in soups. In addition, the muer is suitable for all kinds of pies and salads: they are fried and stewed, baked, marinated and salted.
Due to the taste characteristics, the wooden ear has no restrictions in use - it can be a main course or a side dish that decorates and complements another dish. It is used in dried form as a seasoning for poultry, fish and meat, vegetables and soups.
Asian cuisine is filled with various types of dishes, in which one of the components is the wooden ear, but the component has also been used more and more in European and American dishes.
A few words about how to select and store the product. Since most often in the stores there are dried varieties, you need to pay attention to their appearance: they should not be wet, and there should not be moisture droplets on the package from the inside. Then you need to carefully consider the color: they should not have greenish and whitish patches, as this is a sign of mold.
As for storage, it is best to keep them in a dry and cool corner - there they can lie down for up to 5 years and not deteriorate. The soaked variant should be eaten in 2-3 days.