Why does it turn from white to brown?
You might receive a Mini Farm which still has all its white mycelium visible, but as it ages it will start turning a beautiful rich brown. The Shiitake is essentially making a skin from properties called metabolites, that helps protect it from mold and bacteria. You may also notice these metabolites as a brown watery liquid.
These same metabolites are also bio-available to our own bodies when we eat the mushrooms, and they comprise many of the health benefits that shiitake are known for.
We typically leave the plastic on during the white stage, mainly to conserve moisture and protect it. If you receive a white one and already ripped the plastic off – that’s okay – just check its weight every so often to calculate water loss and hydrate if necessary (more info below).