On the hunt: Lithuanians race to pick wild mushrooms


By LIUDAS DAPKUS
Related Press

VARENA, Lithuania (AP) – Lots of of Lithuanians ran round with baskets and buckets Saturday in a southeastern pine forest.

Why you ask? It is the nationwide championship of untamed mushroom choosing – a contest all the time held on the final Saturday in September.

That is when circumstances are “not too dry, not too moist, the humidity is ideal,” defined mushroom hunter Janina Juodine.

A wet, comparatively heat summer time created perfect circumstances for the foraging pageant in Lithuania, the place forests cowl greater than 33 % of the Baltic nation and mushroom-searching is taken into account the second-hottest sport after basketball.

“Strolling between timber and on the lookout for massive brown mushrooms is a good way of spending a Saturday,” stated Julius Sostakas, an IT engineer from Vilnius. “It is part of our cultural heritage.”

Mushrooms – recent, dried, salted or marinated – are thought-about a vital aspect in Lithuanian delicacies, utilized in many dishes so as to add particular taste to meat, fish and potatoes.

Greater than 4 hundred edible varieties could be present in Lithuania’s forests, together with edible boletus, slippery jacks, chanterelles, blewits and morels.

The pageant Saturday passed off 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the capital, Vilnius, near the border with Belarus. It drew hundreds of onlookers in addition to native mushroom sellers wearing Lithuanian people costumes – colourful knee-lengthy skirts with embroidered aprons and woven sashes.

“This can be a nice occasion,” contest decide Rimute Avizininene advised The Related Press.

She stated 21 groups had participated, including that the most important picked edible boletus – recognized within the nation because the king of Lithuania’s forests – weighed 621 grams (22 ounces).

An area workforce referred to as Mushroom Nightmares gained Saturday’s contest by delivering fifty eight kilograms (128 kilos) of mushrooms.

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Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this story.

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