The Strandzha periwinkle
We are living in a hard time, subject to an endless stress. An undisputable fact is the real ‘revival’ in the whole world and here also are used healing plants independently or as medicinal teas. Thanks to the contained biological active chemical substances from them are prepared effective medicinal resources. Especially effective is their usage by chronic diseases but is required an application in a long period. Some plants except for healing they could be used and applied in cosmetic procedures.
Traditionally the locals are interested in herb collecting for the needs of the personal household. Between the preferred herbs and wild fruits are: St. John's wort (tutsan), centaury, spearmint, chamomile, lime-tree,wildthyme (Thymus serpillorum), milfoil, yarrow (Achillea mille-folium), wild briar, hawthorn, nettle, crab-apple, blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), cornel-tree (Cornus mas), medlar-tree. By all of them is prepared aromatic tea for energizing and healing. These plants have been used in the folk’s medicine which in Strandzha region exists in its pure kind almost until the middle of the century. Harden in labor and raw life people seldom have been ill but even then they rely on the nature resources and the primitive knowledge from grandmothers and grandfathers. Frequently were used for wound healing by bathing and herb placing.
There exists a belief that the herbs collected early in the morning on Midsummer’s day possess the strongest healing power. It has been believed that rolling into the morning dew in this very day gives health and wrapping round with a chicory wreath protects the women from female diseases.
The warm and humid climate in the region advantages the growth of different kinds of mushrooms in the forests, bushes, meadows and pasture grounds. As a plant raw material mushrooms are a traditional part from the culinary way of live of the population in this region. At about 20 are the precious eatable mushrooms from them 14 are widespread. Among the most frequently collected and used are the following kinds:
Orange-milk agaric mushroom is a traditional symbol for a ‘nice’ mushroom in Strandzha region. It is usually widespread in oak-trees forests from June till October but most frequently during August and September. The growth of the mushroom depends on heavy rainfalls and average high temperature by which the soil summer moist is protected longer.
Similar poisonous kind: red fly-agaric mushroom. It is distinguished from orange-milk agaric mushroom by the white lamellas, the meat and the little stump.
Field mushroom - it grows on the meadows and the pasture grounds, dunghills and around the roads one by one or in groups. It is used in all the dishes and for sterilization.
Poisonous doubles: green and white fly-agaric mushroom. They have white unchangeable lamellas and a common cover which forms a small case in the bottom of the little stump.
Edible boletus (Boletus edulis) – It is spread in the thin oak-trees forests and meadows. There are specimens with yellow and white narrow pipes. It is very delicious and searched mushroom for the inside and the external market. It is spread when the weather is humid and warm. It is well to be marinated and dried.
Parasol mushroom (Lepiota procera) - grows in the whole Strandzha region and it is acknowledged easily by the parasol shape. Young mushrooms have to be eaten because faded ones are tough.
Chanterelle – has a funnel-shaped form with yellow or yellow-orange color. It is spread mainly in thin beech-trees forests but in humid weather also in the oak-trees forests on pubescent places. It is suitable for cooking and for salads. It have to be eaten young because is hard digestible.
Poisonous double mushroom: a sour smelly mushroom. It is distinguished from the chanterelle by the presence of lamellas instead of fibers, an orange-red hat and a little stump and grows on a dead broad-leaved wood and not on soil.
Agaric (Marasimus caryophylleus) – it is spread in the karst region of the village of Bliznak near Malko Tarnovo town where is known and is searched. It grows on persistent deposits in wood-nymph circles during April - May in thin bushes and meadows. From a mushrooms’ deposit you could pick agarics several times. They have a specific pleasant fragrance.
White chilly delicious milky cap (Lactaria) – grows in the beech-trees forests but is spread in oak-trees also and exudes white sticky juice which is pungent. Before consummation it is boiled 10-15 minutes after that is served as a salad or cooked.
Pine-tree mushroom – with the formation of the coniferous forests in Strandzha region the mushroom is spread usually in the pine-tree forests. As a perishable mushroom it has to be quickly eaten. When the dishes are prepared the pellicle of the mushroom’s hat is peeled off because of the bitter taste.