Thursday, January 7, 2010


Good rains are falling in Namibia and atmospheric conditions are right for the appearance of a much sought-after delicacy - mushrooms, or 'Omahova' as they're known here.

Two years ago, I came upon these two dudes on a highway in the middle of nowhere. They were selling these giant mushrooms which they'd collected in the bush:

The mushrooms grow only on termite mounds and appear a few days after good rain showers and cloudy, misty weather. I've been told, but unable to substantiate as fact, that the spores are distributed through the dung of cattle, whereafter they're transported into the mounds and nurtured by the termites.

It is also said that they only grow on the northern side of the mounds, i.e. away from direct sunlight.

When buying Omahova it is best to get them before they open-up like the ones in the pics. When they're open they go soggy very quickly and are prone to worm infestations.

The last pic is to illustrate how big the termite mounds can be, though some of them get a lot bigger.

I'm not usually very fond of mushrooms, but I'd kill for these. When prepared by someone who knows how to, they're divine. One method is to cut the stems as steaks and poach in buttered, fried onions, ... mmmm



  1. love sautéed mushrooms on steak.

    Have you been able to get back to highspeed internet again?

  2. @ Jane - Thanks Jane ...

    @ lisleman - nope, I don't know how long I'll be in exile ... my goodness, how I miss a decent internet connection ...

  3. Incredible - they're huge ! I am not a fan of mushrooms though, I must admit .... but I can imagine you could make a really nice meal out of those :)

    On a completely un mushroom related note, as I know you are an ex miner, are you following the incredible story of the Chilean miners trapped underground ? It's a pretty scary thought, & a completely unique situation (the length of time they've been down there) & incredible that they have all survived. We're following the story with interest here ....

  4. Yes, one of those giants and you're full ...

    Yeah, I feel for the trapped Chilean miners - I had a bit of a discussion about them with gg via my 'Tarzan of the Apes' post ...

    I think they're making a big mistake by not telling them the truth about how long their rescue is going to take ...