Bejin ó tabaquera del diablo

Ark of taste
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Bejín rugoso

Bejín, also known as bejín rugoso, tabaquera del diablo, bejín areolado or mosaic puffball, is an edible mushroom belonging to the species Lycoperdon utriforme, distributed worldwide in temperate zones. In South America, particularly in Argentina and Chile, it thrives in open areas, meadows, and humid pampas regions, appearing from late spring through fall. This fungus, sought after for its culinary uses, grows on decaying organic matter, displaying a spherical structure with a white coloration when young and transitioning to brown hues as it matures.
The harvesting of bejín is typically carried out manually, with careful inspection to ensure the mushrooms are at the optimal stage for consumption. Young specimens with a white interior are preferred for their spongy texture and rich fungal flavour, suitable for various culinary applications. Despite its cultural significance and culinary potential, bejín faces challenges due to limited awareness and commercial cultivation, relying instead on foraging practices by individuals such as chefs.
Efforts to promote greater education and awareness about bejín are essential for ensuring its sustainable use and preservation. While environmental threats are minimal, the cultural risk posed by misconceptions about its consumption underscores the importance of disseminating accurate information about this traditional ingredient. Through education and advocacy, bejín can be celebrated as a distinctive feature of local gastronomy, contributing to culinary diversity and cultural heritage in Argentina and Chile.

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Nominated by:Victor Alfredo Vilugrón Novoa