Meat of the Poor

Posted on February 12, 2011


I just shared a very pleasant Saturday morning coffee with members of the Murad family in K. Manda.  Um Malek was about to go off with a friend to gather mushrooms – today’s sun after yesterday’s rain make for optimal mushrooming.  Since we are in the height of the edible wild plant season, I told Um Malek and her friend about what I’d been gathering, but that I had not been courageous enough to venture into mushrooms. 

It’s simple, they told me.  Whatever grows in the fields, is safe to eat.  What you find growing among the trees in the forest – that’s what you need to be careful about.

Abu Malek explained that mushrooms are the only meat that comes out of the earth.  He also explained that mushrooms are considered to be “lachem el fakir” – the meat of the poor. Since I have just been reconsidering my carnivorous ways, these mushrooms that Um Malek gave me seemed like a very valuable offering indeed.