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Emiratis Seek Rare Mushrooms After Heavy Rains: ‘Ara’een’ and ‘Faq’a’ Fetch Up to Dh1,000 per Kilo

Emiratis Seek Rare Mushrooms After Heavy Rains: 'Ara'een' and 'Faq'a' Fetch Up to Dh1,000 per Kilo

Dubai: Emiratis are on the hunt for rare mushrooms known as ‘Ara’een’ and ‘Faq’a’, which have begun blooming following the recent heavy rains across the Emirates. These mushrooms, cherished for their taste and cultural significance, are fetching high prices in the market.

Salem Jumah Al Alili, a 44-year-old Emirati from Falaj Al Mualla in Umm Al Quwain, has been exploring sandy areas, plains, mountains, and valleys for these rare mushrooms for the past two decades. He emphasized that the best time to harvest ‘Ara’een’ and ‘Faq’a’ mushrooms is in March, following heavy rains. These mushrooms typically sprout about 14 days after rain and are usually found growing into the ground due to the heat of the sun.

According to Al Alili, the freshness of ‘Ara’een’ mushrooms lasts for about three days after harvesting, and they should ideally be consumed fresh or stored in a cold place. While ‘Ara’een’ mushrooms are sold for approximately Dh170 per kilogram, ‘Faq’a’ mushrooms, which are harder to find, can fetch prices around Dh500 per kilogram. Premium varieties of these mushrooms can even reach prices up to Dh1,000 per kilogram.

Various cooking methods are employed to prepare these mushrooms, including boiling, frying, and pairing them with rice. Each household adds its own unique touch to these rare ingredients, enhancing their flavors.

In addition to the mushrooms, mountainous regions experiencing heavy rainfall are currently adorned with vibrant greenery from ‘Al-Hamaad’ plants. Known locally as ‘Al Humaid’, these plants, with their height and broad leaves, offer a tangy flavor that adds zest to salads, making them a favorite in Emirati households. ‘Al Humaid’ plants thrive in sandy soil on plains and mountain slopes, symbolizing goodwill as generous portions are shared among family members and neighbors to spread joy.

Emiratis continue to venture into the wilderness, celebrating the bounty of nature brought forth by the recent rains, and preserving cultural traditions passed down through generations.

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