Making shrooms in the liquid form

Making shrooms in the liquid form

100122_7d12b
Angkor Rice Wine Work Shop owner Lima Lim (left) and her sister Viriya Lim hold a bottle of soo krom mushroom wine and a chunk of the rare mushroom.

One of Siem Reap’s newest tourist attractions, the Angkor Rice Wine Work Shop, is doing a roaring trade with a wine made from the rare, expensive and almost forgotten traditional soo krom healing mushroom.

The tourism business, owned by Lima Lin, was spun out late last year from a family rice wine making operation. The showroom and working museum guides tourists through all the steps of making a range of rice-based wines, including the soo krom mushroom wine.

Lima Lim explained that the mushroom was used medicinally in ancient times, but knowledge about it disappeared during the war years. It also only grows in heavily forested mountain ranges, particularly in the Dongrek mountain region, and this has made it hard to collect in recent times due to the possible presence of unexploded ordnance.

When Koreans recently discovered the mushroom on sale in some villages, business surged. Lima Lim and her family also discovered the mushroom used to be as popular in Khmer culture as ginseng is among the Chinese. But Lima Lim’s sister Viriya Lim points out the mushroom is exceedingly rare and expensive.

It grows in large clumps weighing up to about 30 kilos or, as Viriya said, “It comes in pieces almost as big as the ruins of Angkor.” A clump can be up to 100 years old, but clumps in the 50-60 year old range are best for medicinal purposes and can cost up to $60 per kilo.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the