Auricularia auricula
Listen up: The Wood Ear Mushroom (Auricularia auricula-judae) is one of those peculiar edible mushrooms everybody eats but most people swear they’ve never eaten it. Why? The Wood Ear tastes like nothing memorable, like those chewy, thin strips one notices in spoonfuls of hot and sour soup--where the strips simply taste like the soup.
That’s the Wood Ear. You’ve eaten it, the Asian variety anyway. A closely related species of Auricula is sold dried in exotic groceries where specialists of Asian cuisine take them home, reconstitute them, cut them into thin strips and serve them in dishes like hot and sour soup.
If you’re into chewy and somewhat rubbery textures without noticeable flavor, here’s your mushroom.