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Shiitake mushrooms are small to medium in size with caps averaging 10-20 centimeters in diameter and are attached to thin stems. The caps range in color from light to dark brown and have a wide, umbrella shape with a characteristic curled rim. Inside, the cream-colored flesh is firm, chewy, and spongy. Underneath the cap, the white gills are tightly arranged, are not attached to the stem, and depending on the maturity, there may also be a thin veil covering the gills. The ivory to light brown stem is smooth, tough, and fibrous. When cooked, Shiitake mushrooms release a garlic-pine aroma and have a savory, earthy, and smoky, umami flavor.