The Namulondo (Termitomyces microcarpus) is found and produced on the districts of Buikwe, Masaka, Mubende, Jinja and Iganga. It can be defined as macro fungi having hypogenous or epigeous distinctive fruiting bodies, which can be seen with the unaided eye and to be picked by hand.
Namulondo is white in color and it grows in groups and with the help of spores carried by the termites.
Namulondo is a traditional food beloging to the Buganda and Basoga people of the Central Uganda and Eastern Uganda. They use to serve it during traditional marriage rites in Buganda as in Luwombo for the in-law as assign of appreciation.
Namulondo fungi are not only prized for their splendid tasteful flavor; they also serve as a good healthy supplement. In addition to proteins and sugars, Namulondo possess some essential mineral nutrients, which are considered as key factors for the normal functioning of the body. In recent years, detailed investigations using Namulondo indicated that it could be utilized for the treatment of cancer, heart ailments and diabetes.
It is said that the best traditional taste of Namulondo emerges when it is mixed with groundnut paste to make a paste or sauce that can be eaten with millet, banana and sweet potatoes. Namulondo sauces or soups are compatible with many other local and traditional dishes in Uganda.
Namulondo may be collected by individuals for personal use, but it is also sold in local markets. However, the quantities that can be found at local markets are declining. This is due to encroachment on these mushrooms’ habitats for settlements, the extremes praying of chemicals in the agricultural land and the constantly growing populations in the areas where it used to grow. Due to the excess use of herbicide to kill termites and weed it’s a risk of extinction.
Image: © Marco del Comune & Oliver Migliore