the other day we took a ride to a village outside upemba national park. on the way back we passed a boy with this enormous mushroom - the largest any of us had ever seen! we bought it off him for 500 francs (about 60 cents). below is romaen, the park's north sector chief, with the monster mushroom.
that evening we proceeded to cut up pieces of it for dinner. and the next day for lunch. and the next night for dinner again... and we only ate half of it before we were all quite done with mushroom for a while.
thanks to a solar powered v-sat and google, i was able to identify it as termitomyces titanica - the largest mushroom species in the world!
it's one of many termitomyces species, all of which have symbiotic relationships with termites. the fungus is cultivated by termites in their nests, with the myceleum growing on, for lack of a better word, termite poo. but it's actually material that's been passed through but not fully digested by the termites. it's then broken down further by the fungus, making it edible for the termites. the mushroom, which is the reproductive part of a fungus, pops up after the early rains near to the termite mound. very cool... and tasty!