Web Editor:International Daily
KUNMING - A large variety of edible mushrooms grown in the wild are hitting the market in China as the peak season for the fungi has arrived in southwest China's Yunnan Province, a major producer of wild mushrooms in the country.
At the Kunming Mushuihua Wild Mushroom Trading Market, the largest wild mushroom market in Yunnan, various wild mushrooms hand-picked from mountains across the province are now for sale.
Fungi grown in the wild are believed to be free from pollution, high in nutrition and protective against some diseases, making them popular among consumers.
Jizong, a fleshy, fat, crisp mushroom which is fine silky white in color, for example, could be turned into delicious food by diverse cooking methods, said one local resident.
"It (jizong mushroom) is very luscious and crispy. Whether deep-fried, steamed, or stir-fried, it tastes really good," said Ms. Yang, a shopper.
Wild mushrooms are also mouth-watering ingredients for people living outside Yunnan. One vendor said matsutake, a wild mushroom with spicy, organic smell and white in color with brown stains that could look grubby, is particularly popular in south China's Guangdong Province.
"We send a lot of products to other provinces. People living in Guangdong Province love matsutake the most. Basically, 80 percent of my customers are in Guangdong," said Ms. Duan, a wild mushroom vendor.
Staff say large numbers of wild mushrooms are now available at the market, which is based in Yunnan's capital city of Kunming, though they hit the market about 20 days later compared with previous years.
Jizong, matsutake and penny bun mushrooms, a chunky-looking mushroom with a cap that looks like a well-baked bread roll, are some of the most common varieties at the market this season.
One worker said 300 tons of wild mushrooms are available for purchase at the market every day.
"This year, the quantity (of wild mushrooms) available at the market is particularly large, and about 300 tons hit the market every day," said Cheng Aili, a worker of Kunming Mushuihua Wild Mushroom Trading Market.