For about two weeks at the beginning of August every year, clusters of villagers dot the Goan roadside hawking handpicked mushrooms known in Konkani as olmi. These edible mushrooms grow in the wild near termite mounds in the forested hills of rural Goa. Taxonomically they come under Termitomyces.
The narrow window of availability, limited supply, and high demand ensure a price premium, and as a consequence, today the Goan mushroom is in danger of being harvested out of existence. (See this article by Prof. Nandkumar Kamat of Goa University.)
Greatly relished by Goans, the consumption of these domed delights has long been a cultural tradition. The conventional preparation takes the form of xacuti.
I had my olmi fix a couple of days ago when I chanced upon a fresh batch in the village of Tivrem.
This post originally appeared on Rajan Parrikar’s photo blog and is reproduced here with his permission.
Rajan Parrikar (@parrikar) was born and raised in Goa. His photographic interests lie in landscapes, architecture, portraiture, street life, culture, religion, and photojournalism. Places that he finds particularly inspiring are Goa, Iceland, and California.