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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Plant of the week with Alexander McCowan ]

Plant of the week with Alexander McCowan

Culinary favourite has little in way of nutrition

There is a vast range of edible fungi and most will be familiar with the mass produced tasteless polystyrene masquerading as Agaricus bisporus and its little brown brother, A. bisporus var. hortensis; these were developed from the very delicious field mushroom (Agaricus campestris). Edible mushrooms have been collected since man started chewing nuts and berries. The Pharaohs valued fungi so highly they decreed that they would not be consumed by any other than the royal family. Given the culinary interest in mushrooms one may be surprised to realise they have very little to offer in the way of nourishment; the plant is mostly composed of water (91 per cent), protein (3.75 per cent), carbohydrate (3.5 per cent) and fats (0.2 per cent), so it must be the flavour and the chemical compounds.

The fear of collecting a poisonous mushroom is sufficient to deter the majority and, considering the consequences of a mistake, is justified.

The varieties that one will encounter in the main supermarkets have increased considerably over the last few years; we are now able to purchase Shitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes), containing lentinan, the most powerful natural immune system stimulant and restorative known to science, and very delicate in flavour, used in soups and stews. The indigenous Oyster species (Pleurotus cornucopiae), with its clusters of creamy white brackets, found growing in woodland and under wild shrubs, which can be fried and included in omelets or stews; a real taste of the wild, although this species is now being cultivated commercially.

A fungi that has been a great favourite with Hellenic societies is the Saffron Milk mushroom (Lactarius deliciosus), so named by Linnaes for its taste. There is a mosaic of this plant as part of a banquet in ancient Herculaneum. They grow in coniferous woods and can be found after the rainy season, should we have any, and they are distinguished from other fungi in that the flesh is granular and breaks off like chalk.

This genus is recognised by its habit of exuding a milky substance when picked.

Should you encounter the Fairy Ring Champignon (Marasmius oreades) be careful not to confuse it with Clitocybe family that tends to share the same ground. The former is greatly valued by fungi connoisseurs, but the latter will make you ill.

One of the most popular varieties found in the wild and some shops is the delicious Penny Bun Mushroom (Boletus edulis); it is quite a specimen, growing up to 15cm with a cap measuring 20cm. It has a robust brown/red top that is slightly sticky to the touch, and grows in most kinds of woodland; it is the most commonly eaten wild mushroom.

Next week Algae

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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