Expert Insight's HistoryAccording to Paul Stamets in his book Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (2000) the first mushroom cultivated in China was the black fungus, starting around 600 BC.
FeaturesBlack fungus is a fast growing fungus that is dark brown and shaped like an ear. It thickens and mottles in color with age, and can be found growing on trees such as kapok and mango trees.
CuisineBlack fungus is used in Chinese cuisine for its crispness and color, and does not have much of a flavor.
Black fungus is sold both dry and fresh. When dry it is soaked in water before being cooked.
NutritionFive grams of dried black fungus contains 13 calories, four percent manganese, four percent selenium, three percent copper, two percent niacin and two percent iron.
MedicineBlack fungus is used in Chinese Medicine to improve circulation, breathing ability and well-being.
According to the January 2009 edition of European Food Research and Technology, black fungus has anti-tumor properties.