Shiitake (Lentinus Edodes) is often called a wild mushroom, however it is only found cultivated. The origin of this mushroom is debated. Either the Chinese or the Japanese were the first to cultivate shiitake over 1200 years ago. Available fresh in nearly all U. S. markets, there is also a very large demand for the dry form. Dried shiitake caps are dark brown on top, with tan gills underneath. The rim of the dried shiitakes curls down toward the stem. Shiitakes have a meaty flesh and a full bodied, bosky flavor. Shiitakes may also be referred to as Chinese black mushrooms or forest mushrooms. Shiitake (shee - tah-kay).