Friday, July 13, 2012

Caterpillar fungus

Also known as ophiocordyceps sinesis, a fungus takes over the bodies of caterpillars then shoots up like a blade of grass. The Chinese use it in tea or soup as a medicinal compound that is good for almost anything. Its popularity shot up when the Chinese women olympic team won a lot of medals and were purported to have used the caterpillar fungus. Yao Ming, the Chinese basketball player said he believes in it also. This anomaly grows in the High Tibetan plateau of China and for about 40 days in Spring the locals goes out hunting for the caterpillar fungus, much like the Europeans who goes out hunting for truffles. Here on the streets of Xiahe we saw a bunch of Amdo men haunched over some weird stuff and for the first time we saw them up close and personal. Zac thought he could buy a few for a deal but these guys wanted to sell the whole lot for a few hundred US dollars.

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