Schioppini or strigoli
Scientific name: Silene vulgaris
The name of the plant stridolo, recalls the sound of the plant crumpled in hands; stridolo refers to the ubiquitous witches (in fact it was the duty of women collecting and the various uses of herbs); Schioppini because no one, child or not, can resist to pop its fruits… Very particular night-blooming that associates the name of the plant to Selene, the Greek goddess-moon. The fragrant flowers are pollinated by moths. If you find any caterpillar it will be the beautiful butterfly Hadena confusa, living in symbiosis with silene.
Theophrastus speaks of silene from ancient greek word “Sailon” in italian Saliva (burr) (some varieties have a kind of burr) or from the mythical god Silenus and his big round belly that reminds us of the shape of the fruit .
Where to find it:
In Garfagnana is very common in uncultivated meadows, in the hills and on the walls. The ideal time to find green leaves and keep from February to June.
The Silene in the kitchen:
The young leaves are used to prepare soups or simply sauteed.
The buds, after being boiled, are eaten with eggs as a side dish, or are used in risotto or tasty soups.
From the book:
Gli erbi boni della cucina tradizionale garfagnina
Written by: IVO POLI