By Geary Andrew
Maitake mushrooms have been used as both food and medicine in Asian cultures for many centuries, and are described as having a rich, earthy taste. The name maitake means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese. They are most common in the Northeastern areas of the United States and Canada. They also exist in hardwood forests in parts of Japan, China, and Europe. In North America, fresh and dried maitake mushrooms are available at some grocery stores and markets, and the extract maitake D-fraction is sold as a dietary supplement.