Name: Tree Pig, the “Tasty” mushroom, Chef’s friend, countless others.
Latin: Sapii pullum
Habitat: prefers tropical hardwoods such as teak, mahogany and so forth.
Habits: has a nearly year-long growing season in most of its growing habitats.
Reproduction: drop spores like typical gilled mushroom, also fairly easy to propagate through mycelial division.
Description: this mushroom has a wide geographical range, from mountainous climes in Malaysia to the bogs of Cambodia. It is hardy, growing from early spring to late fall, and is a healthy contributor towards decomposition of “nursery” trees in jungles across Southeast Asia. In many ways it is a typical wood-rot mushroom, and a popular addition to the dinner table for many foraging cultures.
The mushroom’s most remarkable attribute would be its taste. Its discoverer, Sir Neville Ratham, put it succinctly that “[the mushroom] replicates with perfect mien the stout rarity of human flesh.” This was confirmed by the head of a later Borneo expedition who added that it “possessed a gammy[sic] almost Cornish tang.” The bouquet has eventually been classified as originating somewhere in the Mekong delta, with a nutty aftertaste. It is popular in Haute cuisine when a substitute for “Long pork” is needed.
(see index for recipe suggestions)