SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Korea Bizwire) – The price of matsutake mushrooms from Gangwon Province, renowned for their exceptional quality, is skyrocketing as the Chuseok holiday approaches.
Matsutake mushrooms, often referred to as “aristocratic mushrooms,” are coveted for their rarity and distinct flavor. Among them, Yangyang matsutakes from Yangyang, Gangwon Province, are regarded as treasures, commanding a premium price.
Yangyang, typically known as a surfing haven for the younger generation, has also become a haven for food enthusiasts, with the Yangyang Traditional Market emerging as a culinary hotspot.
This vibrant market offers a diverse range of seasonal ingredients and gourmet delicacies, including matsutake mushrooms, the epitome of the autumn season, capable of tantalizing the taste buds of food connoisseurs.
Revered as the “forest’s treasure,” these mushrooms are prized for their low moisture content, firm texture, and deep, exquisite aroma, often dubbed the “mushroom with a fragrance spanning a millennium.”
In 2006, Yangyang matsutake achieved recognition as the top geographical indication forest product by the Forestry Administration, setting it apart from other local varieties.
According to the Yangyang Sokcho Forestry Association, a recent auction saw 95.41 kilograms of matsutake harvested from the region being sold. The breakdown by grade includes 8.85 kilograms of first-grade mushrooms, 7.6 kilograms of second-grade, 8.62 kilograms of third-grade, 29.86 kilograms of fourth-grade, and 40.48 kilograms of other products.
Notably, the winning bid for first-grade matsutake reached an astounding 1.56 million won per kilogram, marking the highest price of the year. This figure represents a remarkable increase of 462,000 won compared to the opening day of the auction and even surpasses last year’s peak bid of 1.44 million won.
As the matsutake season swings into full gear, preparations for the Yangyang Matsutake Festival, a prominent cultural and tourism event in Yangyang, are in full swing. This year’s festival will be merged with the Salmon Festival and is scheduled to take place from October 4 to 8 along the banks of the Namdaecheon Stream in Yangyang and at the city’s Multipurpose Square.
Matsutake mushrooms are demanding when it comes to their growth conditions, thriving only beneath the shade of 20- to 80-year-old pine trees in soil characterized by weathered granite and a loose texture, adorned with a moderate layer of pine needles.
The temperature range is also vital, with daytime temperatures not exceeding 26 degrees Celsius and nighttime temperatures staying above 10 degrees. Yangyang checks all these boxes, boasting granite-rich soil, lush red pine forests, and a maritime climate ideally suited for the cultivation of matsutake mushrooms.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)