Sat, 25th August, 2012 - Posted by
Mushroom ‘outlet’ at a Varena roadside.
Mushroom picking is undoubtedly one of the favourite activities of the Lithuanian people. It starts in the spring and lasts till the first frosts, normally early November. Mushroom hunting is probably Lithuania’s second most popular sport, after basketball. When rumours start to float around that the first mushrooms of the year have been seen in the woods, people get up at 6 am on Saturday morning and go to the woods with their baskets and plastic bags. You can actually experience traffic jams at that time on a Saturday morning! Entire families go mushrooming and return with overflowing baskets.
The most abundant forests are in Dzukija, the south eastern region. Traditionally the inhabitants of this part of the country are the most prolific mushroom gatherers and this region’s cooks are known for the most creative mushroom recipes. The mushroom capital of Lithuania is the town Varena, founded in 1862 as centre of the Varena District.