There is deserving notice from its importance as an article of food to the Fuegians. It is a globular, bright-yellow fungus, which grows in vast numbers on the beech-trees. When young it is elastic and turgid, with a smooth surface; but when mature, it shrinks, becomes tougher, and has its entire surface deeply pitted or honeycombed, as represented in Plate 55.
This fungus belongs to a new and curious genus (…Cyttaria Darwinii: the Chilean species is the C. Berteroii.) …How singular is this relationship between parasitical fungi and the trees on which they grow, in distant parts of the world! In
Tierra del Fuegothe fungus in its tough and mature state is collected in large quantities by the women and children, and is eaten un-cooked. It has a mucilaginous, slightly sweet taste, with a faint smell like that of a mushroom. With the exception of a few berries, chiefly of a dwarf arbutus, the natives eat no vegetable food besides this fungus.
In the process of reading about my Dihueñes, I discovered Carlos D. Cisterna Lagos excellent article “Explotación de Hongos Silvestres en Chile” (“Exploitation of Wild Mushrooms in
Chilehas become one of the major world exporters of wild mushroom, exceeded only by China, Russiaand . With returns of over 50 million US dollars a year, it is without doubt, the most important activity related to non-lumber forest products. As many as 40 thousand people between Poland and Magallanes participate directly in mushroom collecting or processing for more than 35 exporting enterprises. Some communities are completely dedicated to this activity during fall and winter, for example Empedrado (Region VII), considered the capital of wild mushroom collecting in Valparaiso South America.
They can be used in the same was as porcinis or other dried mushrooms: rehydrated and added to pasta sauce, stews, soups, etc., or see these dried mushroom recipes. To really appreciate their flavor, try the risotto.
Photo Mercado Calabajío
I’m from Coronel and, for your information; there is a señora here who serves a plate of changles for only 500 pesos. It’s one of the most delicious things you can eat, and I doubt that a chef could give a recipe more attention. Janny
I’ve tried to try as many of the diverse products of this area as possible and one of my favorites is changle simmered with onion, minced chives, a dollop of thick cream and a touch of white wine. ¡Buen provecho ! Yudi
Photo Hongos de Chile