Somerville’s first specialty mushroom store, The Mushroom Shop, opened in May during what some may call peak mushroom mania. But for owner Tyler Akabane, foraging is a timeless tradition finally taking root among non-Indigenous people in the United States.

“Probably all over the world, mushrooms are old news,” said Akabane, who grew up in Swampscott. “But for many of the non-Indigenous people in the United States, they're sort of catching on to all the sort of delicious flavors and textures that there are in mushrooms.”

“Non-Indigenous people in the United States are relatively new here, whereas if you go to Japan and Italy, people have been there for thousands and thousands of years to test and figure out which [mushrooms] were good and which ones weren't.”

If it seems like mushroom mania sprang out of nowhere in the U.S., Akabane believes that the push to eat more locally grown and produced foods — also known as being a locavore — led many people to foraging.

“I do think it came out of the locavore movement and people becoming more aware of what foods are here in Massachusetts,” Akabane said. “We have all sorts of mushrooms that are well-thought-of all over the world, and some of them grow right here.”

When Akabane became a teacher for students with disabilities, he started to search the woods surrounding the school for mushrooms. After finding a morel mushroom — a “unique” mushroom with a honeycomb appearance and an earthy flavor — Akabane joined the Boston Mycological Club to learn more about foraging. From then on, Akabane began sourcing mushrooms with local mycological legend Ben Maleson to high-end restaurants and leading foraging tours in the Greater Boston area.

As for his favorite mushroom dishes, Akabane sticks to classic recipes.

“I think sauté is really where I generally go — it's really easy and doesn't take a lot. A bunch of people that come in here do pretty fancy things with mushrooms,” Akabane said. “But for me, it's just sauté, or a stir fry, or just on their own.”