In every summer, Pu'er, located in the southwest Yunnan, China, will greet its rainy season. Endless fine rain burnishes the ground and nourishes a rare and precious wild fungus - red fungus.
Red fungus grows in humus stratum of russula vinosa wood soil which is formed under specific climatic conditions with high temperature and high humidity through long years. It is a kind of natural edible fungus, people in Pu'er will pig out red fungus for 4 months in the rainy season, making it an essential dishes on the dining table of Pu'er people.
It takes laborious searching and patient wait to obtain raw red fungus. The entire family, old and young, will go into mountains to search for fungus. Or you can say that it is an outdoor parent-child game rather than a search for food materials.
Use clean water to wash the red fungus carefully, fry it with a bit of salt and pepper, in this way, the fresh original flavor will be retained to the maximum extent. To appreciate the primitive process of making red fungus, one has to return to the place closest to the nature. The making process is different from that in urban city, which is a taste from home. Simple but rich food, home in mind and dream, from starting point to terminal point, returning home is a belief of Chinese people for thousands of years, simple but powerful. Fungus loses its water content in sunlight and wind, delicious taste comes out during the dehydration process and forms strong fresh taste, which achieves the real red fungus. This process is used to store and transport fungus.
Red fungus, being used for health care purposes like nourishing blood, skin care, anticancer treatment, postponing senility etc., is a rare natural edible fungus, favored by people at home and abroad. The demand for red fungus in countries and regions adjacent to China, for instance, Japan and Southeast Asian nations, are growing day by day. Larger demand requires faster drying and dehydration process, thus local people start to build drying house by sun-dried bricks, using woods as charcoal fire material to dry the fungus, which speed up the drying and dehydration process while maintain the original flavor of the red fungus.
No matter how the food material circulates, migrates and changes, there is always a flavor reminding us the way back home in a unique way through the three meals in a day. It awakes our taste memory again and again during the years in our life.