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Horta Horto
close-up of plate with Greek boiled ‘Horta’ is the generic name for herbaceous green plants with pieces of lemons and oil

Horta

Horta is the generic name for herbaceous green plants which are either cultivated or be gathered in uncultivated fields where they grow wild.

The term horta is also used in cooking to describe edible greens. Horta that is edible, either for humans or for animals, include radish greens (wild radishes), antidia (cultivated radishes) vlita, glistrida, kafkalithra, vrouves, zochia, marathon, and stamnagathi.

The gathering of wild greens for consumption requires experience and knowledge, since not all horta are edible and, moreover, some horta are poisonous and dangerous. For this reason, those who gather horta who are not adequately knowledgeable prefer to gather only the one or two types that are easily recognizable, always cutting the green off of the root, but never uprooting them, in order to allow them to grow again the next year. Gathering wild greens, beyond its nutritional benefits, is for many Greeks also a hobby—and one that is inexpensive. In many countries, its value is ignored, while in countries like Greece, during difficult times in its history like the World War II occupation, it saved many lives from starving.

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