Residents in northern Thailand cash in on rare mushrooms as monsoon season begins

Photo by Puechkaset

Residents in Phayao province in northern Thailand are reaping the benefits of collecting wild mushrooms known as Hed Torb or Hed Por at the start of the rainy season, after prices rose to 830 baht (US$24) per kilogram.

Today, residents and villagers from the Thung Nong and Chiang Muan areas travelled to several forests in the area to take advantage of the price increase and began to harvest the mushrooms for consumption and sale.

Known for their round shape, Hed Torb mushrooms vary in size and can be found in forested areas tucked under the soil. Locals use a rake or stick to scrape the surface of the ground and underneath fallen leaves to find the mushrooms.

When young, the mushrooms are known to have a delicious taste, resulting in the price surge to US$24 per kilogram. They are in demand by customers, regular consumers, and market traders. These mushrooms are only available for consumption during the early rainy season and can only be found once a year.

Amnaj Lawan, a 55 year old resident of Thung Nong, said he starts searching for Hed Por at 4am and then travels by motorbike to another forest to forage for Hed Torb. On a daily basis, can find 1 to 2 kilogrammes of these mushrooms before selling them and eating them himself. At the moment, the high yield of Hed Torb has resulted in excellent prices, allowing Amnaj to generate between US$30 and US$60 daily depending on his findings.

The versatile Hed Por or Hed Torb mushrooms can be used in various dishes such as soups, red curry paste, stir-fries, and many other recipes, making them highly sought after in the market during this season.

Chiang Muan district is renowned for having good-quality and flavoursome Hed Torb mushrooms as they grow in sandy rock forests that contain deciduous dipterocarp forests and grove wood, giving them a delicious taste.

Thailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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