One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An edible fungus, Tricholoma matsutake (family Tricholomataceae), found in pine forests of Japan and Korea, and much prized as a delicacy in Japan. Also: any of several other edible fungi of the same genus, found in North American pine forests.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Perry (Iowa) Chief. From Japanese matsutake (also arch. and dialectal matsudake) from matsu pine + take (also -dake, combining form) mushroom.
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