A giant fungus in China could be a record-setting toadstool. The monster mushroom, discovered in China’s Jianshui County, a historic transportation crossroad in China’s Yunnan province, weighs a whopping 33 pounds and measures 3 feet across. The giant fungus in China boasts over 100 individual mushroom heads that stem from a single trunk.
The people who found the giant fungus in China are not sure yet whether the mushroom is safe for human consumption. But one thing’s for sure: Had the mutant ‘shroom been on Mario’s dinner menu, the Italian plumber could have destroyed Bowser’s Castle in a single fist bump.
In a video uploaded to YouTube, the man who discovered the giant fungus in China is seen showing off his prize find, as wowed onlookers snap photos with the freaky-looking fungus. “I guess this mushroom can be entered into the Guinness World Records,” one woman who was taking photos of the mushroom said.
According to Science World Report, China is the world’s largest producer of edible mushroom. Thousands of tons of mushrooms are harvested in the world’s most populous country every year, and Yunnan province, where the giant fungus in China was discovered, accounts for 50 percent of the country’s mushroom exports. The Diplomat reports that mushroom hunters even refer to Yunnan, which is home to more than 600 species of edible toadstools, as the “Kingdom of Mushrooms.” From The Diplomat:
These range from Morels, which sprout during the rainy months – April to May and August to September – to the expensive Tricholoma matsutake mushroom (aka the “King of Mushrooms”), highly prized in Japan as a delicacy. Depending on quality, matsutake mushrooms sell for $27-560 per kilogram in Japan. Matsutake exports from Yunnan to Japan spiked from 20 tons in 1985 to 1420 tons in 2005 for annual sales of $44 million.
At this point, it’s unclear whether or not the giant fungus in China is a record breaker, but, given its size and its odd character, it’s likely the toadstool will receive some kind of official accolade.
The giant fungus in China isn’t the first monster fungus to make headlines. In 2010, a young boy in West Yorkshire, UK, stumbled upon a 66.5 inch giant puffball. According to the World Record Academy, the discovery set the record for the world’s largest puffball mushroom ever discovered.
The World Record Academy reports that the world’s heaviest fungus on record is a 100-pound mushroom called the “chicken of the woods.” It was also found in the UK.
In 2000, The Independent ran an article about a giant honey mushroom, dubbed the “largest living organism ever found,” discovered in an ancient forest in Oregon. The Armillaria ostoyae fungus spanned an area of 2,200 acres — or about the size of 1,665 football fields. Most of the giant mushroom was underground, but evidence of the fungus could be seen as small clumps of golden mushrooms growing from the forest floor. DNA testing proved that the clumps belonged to the same mother mushroom.
Also in France: What could be the world’s biggest black truffle was sold yesterday in the south of France.
The 1.3kg black Périgord truffle (Tuber melanosporum) went on sale in the farm market of the French south-western town of Sarlat.
The massive subterranean fungus is the biggest ever found and sold in Périgord, which is historically the most famous truffle producing region of France.
Black truffles are sold for about 1,000 euro (£828) per kg on southern France farmer’s markets.
Edible truffles are held in high esteem in French, Spanish, northern Italian and Greek cooking, as well as in international haute cuisine.
The black truffle, which is named after Périgord, one of Europe’s most unspoilt regions, grows near the root systems of oak and hazelnut trees.
They come into season in late autumn and winter, and typically reach 7cm in diameter and a weight of up to 100g.
Most black truffles are produced in Europe, with France accounting for 45 per cent, Spain 35 per cent, Italy 20 per cent, and small amounts from elsewhere.
Production has diminished considerably in the past century, however. France produced some 1,000 tons of truffles in 1937, but harvests these days peak at about 50 tons in the best years.
Looking for truffles in open ground is almost always carried out with specially trained pigs.
The female pig’s natural truffle seeking is due to a compound within the truffle similar to androstenol, the sex pheromone of boar saliva, to which the sow is keenly attracted.
The flavor of black truffles is far less pungent and more refined than that of white truffles. Its strong savory flavor is similar to earth and dashi.
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