Amid hot summer months, many Iraqis await the winter rain and the arrival of truffles. The delicacies provide income to those who pick them and are an additional source of nutrients for families unable to afford meat. Iraq's truffles are also highly desired internationally, especially in the Gulf Arab states. But climate change and a lack of rain threaten supply, and have led to scarcity and higher prices.
Truffles are wild seasonal fungi. In Iraq, they grow in damp sands of deserts after heavy rains. Both professional truffle hunters and ordinary families pick the delicacy, which is abundant in large areas of the country. The fungi are widespread in the western Anbar Governorate and near Samawah in the southern Muthanna Governorate. Some pickers also scour the valleys of Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
“Poor people’s meat”
Truffles provide a livelihood for many Iraqis. Anbari resident Othman Mufleh Al-Rawi, who has been a truffle hunter and tradesman for over 20 years, told Amwaj.media that the fungi have given him a...
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