Matsutake Mushrooms are some of the most expensive mushrooms in the world, with prices upward of two hundred dollars per pound for perfect specimens. The Japanese are connoisseurs of these mushrooms and consume far more than the limited local harvest. While the matsutakes that are harvested in Kyoto below the Japanese red pines are the most prized, the nation relies largely on mushrooms imported from Korea, Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Here in California the price of Matsutake start at fifty dollars per pound and then drop drastically in December when the Japanese market starts to slow. In October and November it is almost impossible to get #1 grade Matsutake because they are almost exclusively exported. Were were fortunate to get a small basket of perfect #1 Matsutake in this week. A true #1 grade has a cap that is still fully closed with the thin membrane over the gills still intact. These mushrooms have a mild flavor with a refined pine aroma. They can be shaved raw, as we will do for tonight's scallop dish, or be quickly grilled or steamed.