24-10-2017 by Leni Frau
Autumn, mushroom time.
This is what the Italian gastronomic tradition reminds us of, linked to what the land can still give us.
But also in Kenya there are good and edible mushrooms, some of them rare and precious.
Maybe they won't be as precious and fragrant as the boletus, but they have a pleasant consistency and good taste similar to some of the varieties that we can find in our country.
Gallets, chanterelles, chanterelles, nails and meadows (champignons) abound in Kenya's forests, and can also be found in the Arabuko Sokoke Forest near Watamu, for example.
In the boutique at the entrance to the forest there are sometimes some little little calves that don't really know much, but they are not even to be neglected for a risotto.
Good champignons come from Naivasha, excellent to be sautéed in a pan, trifled or fried.
But the most prized and very special one comes from the Rift Valley, in the lands of the Luhya.
It is the obukufuma, a mushroom that the local population has always picked and cooked after having dried and smoked it and which the Slow Food International Foundation wants to protect, together with other rare resources of this wonderful land.
Seccato resembles a cep vaguely, with the greyish crown and the white stem, which can reach a height of up to 40 cm (the chapel even 30 cm in diameter). Luhya are used to smoke it because it can last up to six months, and they use it to flavour soups or to mix it with corn or beans.
The obukufuma is harvested during the morning hours in the Epanga Valley and generally in the woods of Vihiga County in north-western Kenya.
The obukufuma also has an important significance for the local community.
Whoever finds mushrooms is considered a virtuous and lucky man, whoever dreams of them but does not find them instead could have problems in the family.
Obukufuma mushrooms grow naturally on fertile soils and are harvested for both sale and domestic consumption, but they are increasingly rare due to civilization and fertilizers used close to forests.
Have you ever heard of the Lare Pumpkin?
And Mau Forest nettles?
And Molo Baby Chicken, the Red River Nzoia salt, Ogiek honey and the West Pokot yoghurt made with ash?
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