I will not refer to the much-talked-about three-day getaways hosted by Filaretos Psimenos at the Amanita Guesthouse in Tsangarada, nor to the mushroom-hunting expeditions he leads through the forest with the charming bridges and natural springs to teach you how to distinguish between penny buns, Caesar’s mushrooms and black porcini. My interest lies in all those things he makes out of what nature so generously provides. His delicious sauces, the mustards he devised and created using mushrooms as a base and the fruit he collects while out walking. To the concoction of apples and dog roses sweet as honey that he makes himself, and marmalades (raspberry, red fruit, peach with ginger and wild peach with ginger) that he serves with the delightful and homey Amanita breakfasts. Or perhaps I should first mention the delicious local frumenty (“trachanoto”) with wild mushrooms, which usually greets guests on Friday evenings? Filaretos’ interests do not stop with food. Recently, he has expanded into herbal remedies. As I noted, he now recommends his own tincture of St John’s wort and a balsam, as well as a tincture of milk thistle (silymarin) he calls “Great Centaur”, in honour of the mountain that surrounds his guesthouse.

Thaleia Tsichlaki