Yunnan breeds diverse resources of wild edible fungi thanks to its complex topography, various forests, soil types and unique three-dimensional climatic conditions. The edible fungi in Yunnan accounts for more than half of the world’s edible fungi and two-thirds of that available in China.
With the arrival of the rainy season, mushrooms are arriving in Yunnan in large quantities. Which one is best to eat? Here’s our list of the 10 most delicious wild mushrooms!
Russula virescens mushroom
Russula virescens mushrooms are mainly produced in the primeval forest zone of the "three parallel rivers" in western Yunnan. Its growth environment is quite pure, and the output period of fungi extends from June to September. The russula virescens take on light green and grayish green colours, and the epidermis is often patchy and cracked, and the stripe is found within the edge of the cap opening.
Selection criterion: The product with a small flower shape and diameter of approximately five centimetres is the best product.
Characteristics: Soft and fragrant
The boletus mushroom is so named because of its fertile flesh, extremely similar to the bovine liver. It is a rare and expensive wild edible mushroom, being one of the "four king mushrooms" and mainly includes the white, yellow, black and red boletus.
Selection criterion: The product with medium size, fully open cap and harder leg of mushroom is preferred.
Characteristics: Unique fragrance and rich nutrition
Lactarius volemus mushroom
It is an edible and delicious variety. The growing environment needs to be highly regional and season. Any part of its body will produce milky white liquid if it is broken.
Selection criterion: The product is gentle and fragrant
Characteristics: The product will produce milky white liquid when it is broken
Russula alutacea mushroom
Russula alutacea mushroom are a pure, natural edible mushroom growing in the soil layer of redwood forest in high temperatures and high humidity. It only grows from May to August.
Selection criterion: The cap of an unopened mushroom, proper mushroom shape and appropriate size is preferred, and dry items with deep colour.
Characteristics: The product is mellow and delicious, fragrant and refreshing.
The chanterelle mushroom is rich in nutrients, being one of six famous mycorrhizal edible fungi in the world. The mature chanterelle takes on a little trumpet-like appearance with every bright colour. It is tougher than the average mushroom, and has a little elasticity, smelling of apricot.
Selection criterion: The product with golden colour and complete cap shape is preferred.
Characteristics: Apricot fragrance.
Collybia albuminosa mushroom
Collybia albuminosa mushroom, also known as Jisong mushroom, Jijao mushroom and termite mushroom, is a delicious wild delicacy. It is called the king of mushrooms, featuring fat and stocky flesh, a silky, fine and white texture. It tastes sweet, fresh, crisp and fragrant. It’s delicious, comparable with chicken, hence it is called the chicken-like mushroom.
Selection criterion: More tender product is preferred, and the product within 45 degrees of angle between the edge of mushroom and the stem of the mushroom is considered to be the best.
Characteristics: Thick and fatty flesh, fine and silky, with a fresh, sweet and crispy taste
Ganba mushroom is a rare wild edible mushroom in Yunnan, and it can't survive in any other provinces and abroad. It is mainly produced in the rainy seasons like July and August in summer and autumn, and it grows amid pine trees in the mountains and forests in central Yunnan and western Yunnan. The surface of the Ganba mushroom is grayish black with a layer of white, and it turns dark brown and takes on a rich aroma resembling dried beef while being aged.
Selection criterion: Fresh Ganba mushroom with white and yellow, or yellowish-brown appearance, and a diameter of 10 centimetres is preferred.
Characteristics: The mushroom body contains impurities including sand, being difficult to clean, and the mushroom contains proteins. People allergic to eggs, milk and seafood are advised to be cautious about this product.
Tricholoma matsutake mushroom
Tricholoma matsutake mushroom is a pure and rare edible mushroom, being known as the "king among mushrooms.” The tricholoma matsutake has always been regarded as a treasure.
It can only grow in an original pine forest without any pollution. Tricholoma matsutake normally takes only seven days from picking to being mature. The mushroom will rapidly age after 48 hours upon being mature. The picking peak season extends from September to October.
Selection criterion: The mushroom with unopened cap, straight body, a length of approximately nine centimetres and weight of 40 grams is preferred.
Characteristics: The mushroom has white and tender flesh, fine and dense texture, and a strong special aroma.
Sarcodon aspratus mushroom
Sarcodon aspratus mushrooms are a rare and precious wild edible mushroom with rich nutrients, delicious taste, tender flesh and unique flavour. It is one of the top ten famous mushrooms.
Selection criterion: The product with massy flesh, complete cap shape, lower water content and larger size is preferred.
Characteristics: The product is featured with high nutritional value and economic value. It is of a strong fragrance when fresh and of more intense fragrance after being dried.
Dictyophora mushroom, also known as bamboo fungus and bamboo ginseng, is a cryptic mushroom that is parasitic on the roots of dried bamboo. The product is featured with slightly net-like dry white snake-skin, dark green cap, a snow-white cylindrical stipe, pink egg-shaped mushroom holder, and a fine white mesh-shaped skirt at the top of the stipe from the cap.
The lower slab is called "Snow Skirt Fairy", "Flower of Wild Treasure", "Flower of Fungi" and "Queen of Fungi".
Selection criterion: Dictyophora mushrooms with a light yellow colour and large strip? is preferred.
Characteristics: The product is rich in nutrients, aromatic flavour, has a delicious taste and has been listed as one of the "eight wild treasures" since ancient times.
Morchella mushroom is a rare edible mushroom species, which is so named because of its uneven surface and having a lamb-like belly. Also known as the morel, is a precious edible and medicinal mushroom.
Selection criterion: Mushroom with a yellow and brown body of approximately four centimetres, a white stipe of around two centimetres and medium size is preferred.
Characteristics: The product is nutritious, with a variety of amino acids.