Dried Shiitake mushrooms are proof that the aging process can improve a food’s flavor. The color of the Shiitake’s cap deepens to a near black, a precursor to the flavor profile. Its aromatics are reminiscent of garlic and pine and it imparts a rich, smoky, umami flavor. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the handful of mushrooms that can be cultivated on a commercial scale. They are cultivated using trees or wood as a growing medium. Both natural log and sawdust log cultivation are used in small and large scale productions. Natural log cultivation is the oldest method and imitates nature closely. The logs are 100% recyclable; once the logs are exhausted of nutritional benefits, they can be used for composting or as a natural fertilizer. The Shiitake mushroom is also known as Chinese black mushroom, Japanese black mushroom and golden oak mushroom. In addition to their culinary uses, Shiitake mushrooms have long been used for medicinal purposes in both raw and dried form. They are rich in vitamins and minerals with potently high levels of vitamin B2, B12 and vitamin D.