Under Ground Treasure: A Preliminary Inquiry into the Ecology and Distribution of Zambian Truffles

  •  Stanford M Siachoono    
  •  Obote Shakachite    
  •  Alexinah M Muyenga    
  •  Justice Bwalya    


Zambian truffles, (believed to belong to the genus Terfezia because of its proximity to the Kalahari truffles), with a native Lozi name as Zoondwe (p) in Western province of Zambia, have been on the diet of many local inhabitants for many years. They are collected or hunted at the end of the rainy season between early April and early July each year. Very little is known of the Zambian truffles scientifically apart from the local ethno mycological knowledge. The present work is a preliminary study carried out to understand their ecology, plant interaction and distribution including the soil pH and the weather conditions.

The second revelation was the occurrence of a similar truffle species which the locals call simbulukutu. It is a bitter relative of the actual truffles that the locals eat. Despite the bitterness, the locals eat it, with special preparation, in hard times.

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