While mushrooms belong to the vegetables, in fact they are fungi. They grow wild in nature but they can also be cultivated. In Messinia wild mushrooms can be found in Poliani, Dyrachi, Neochori and Taygetos. The varieties with their local namesfound in Messinia are the following:
- Gouroulianes or makrolepioti
White with brown spots mushrooms. They grow in fields. Once cleaned and salted, they are coal or pan roasted. Very pleasant in taste.
Shiny grey cap with white flesh.Once salted, they are coal or pan roasted. They are not considered particularly tasty.
- Sfouggitia (porcini)
Their cap is dark brown and the inside surface yellow with spots. They grow in bushy areas. Once salted, they are coal roasted.
Found in bushy areas, these mushrooms have a bright orange color. They are usually fried and are considered very delicious.
- Koumaritia (Lactariusdeliciosus)
They have an ivory cap and a white flesh. They grow in forests
where arbutus shrubs grow. Once washed and salted, they are pan-fried. Very
- Alafitia (Pleurotusostreatus)
Light brown cap and white flesh. They can be found in forest areas and are regarded the most delicious local mushrooms.
Mushrooms have a significant nutritional value and only 32 calories per100 grams. They contain many antioxidant substances and carbohydrates. Furthermore, they are rich in lysine, an essential amino acid, while the combination of mushrooms with rice or pasta (cereals poor in lysine but rich in the amino acid methionine) provides high biological value protein. According to research, the consumption of mushrooms reduces the incidence of breast cancer by maintaining estrogen at normal levels. Due to their content in selenium, mushrooms promote healthy immune system function. Selenium works synergistically with vitamin E toneutralize free radicals.