Through the Mushroom World

Yartsa-Gunbu

Yartsa-Gunbu

Sophia Swanson, Writer

Mushrooms grow EVERYWHERE but could a mushroom be rare or exotic? This article is about the 3 most expensive mushrooms in the world, ranging from Caterpillar body’s that have been invaded by fungus or even spicy mushrooms.

 

Mushroom #1: The first mushroom is Yartsa Gunbu, this mushroom cost $2,000 an ounce! Do you want to know what this fungus is? The mushroom is grown out of ghost caterpillars. The parasitic fungus infects the caterpillars and eats them alive. The caterpillars die slowly, ending up mummified in an upright position near the earth’s surface. In the early spring the dead fungus infected caterpillars make their way to the surface and are harvested. These mushrooms are prized Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau in the altitudes between the 3,000 to 5,000-meter marks. The best quality Yartsa sells for about $2,000 an ounce. It is considered a symbol of status to afford to eat this mushroom. 

 

Mushroom #2: Next is a mushroom called the European White Truffle! This mushroom is very difficult to harvest and costs $3,600 per pound.  Though many believe truffles are different from mushrooms, they are both types of fungi. There are special dogs that can sniff out the fungus leading to a problem Black marketing. Some people love the taste of this mushroom so much they are willing to steal the amazing dogs from truffle hunters. Truffle hunters search throughout places like France and Italy to find this rare mushroom. Without a doubt, these truffles are a mushroom of royalty!

 

Mushroom #3: Finally the Matsutake mushroom. This mushroom ranges from $1,000 – $2,00 per pound. This mushroom has kind of a fruity/spicy smell and is treasured for that. Recently, the red pine trees that has provided covering to the mushroom are being killed off by insects. Due to this there are less and less of these rare mushrooms.