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Wild Cacti, PushevoCod 2543

The Cacti Wild Meadow is located in Dola village, about 500 meters southeast of the center of Pushevo Village. In the meadow, an area of over 1 acre are spread more cacti bushes, unusual for the Balkans. Nobody knows exactly when they occurred. Locals joked, saying that they seem to live in Mexico. And might have a good argument. Cacti are a kind of pear (Opuntia) and their homeland is precisely Mexico. And given the old name of the village and that its inhabitants immigrants went to work abroad in North America, it is possible that one of the migrant workers who have returned have brought in his luggage some unusual plants, beautiful and stinging. It is also possible that part of the cacti have been simply throw near the ravine. At first, no one knew how to name the strange flowers and in the village became known as frogs, because of their broad green leaves. And little flowers were called with the strange word irki.

Usually they bloom during May-June months, with flowers in gorgeous colors, yellow and red with a sweet smell. Their fruits are known as stinging pears The interior of this exotic fruit is dark red, dense and filled with small edible seeds The taste is sweet and fresh fragrance, remembers of taste of a watermelon.

The fruit is low in calories and sodium. A stinging medium sized pear contains about 40 calories. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber and is proven to help regulate blood sugar levels, as well as a diuretic and antihaemorrhaegic preparation. Before the appearance of antibiotics and vaccines, the fruit was used for the treatment of viral infections.
The stinging pears must be opened carefully before consumption using a plier or thick gloves because their surface can hurt your hands. The interior of the fruit may be served with yogurt and added to salads or muesli. The fruit squash can be used for sauces, dressings, liquor, jam. Their pure can be frozen and used in time as filling for cakes and cold drinks.

According to locals, this is the only place in Bulgaria where wild cacti grow. There are several legends about the appearance of cacti in these places.

According to one of these legends, the cacti are obtained from an obscure power who wanted to protect the village from evil. This theory is strengthened by the fact that cacti are on the edge of the village and leave no evil is left inside or above the Pushevo Village. According to the locals, these stinging plants appeared to avoid people from snakes, which cannot cross this field of cacti.
Another legend says that plants appeared when above the village flown an alien spacecraft flew over the village that sprinkled the strange seeds.
There is another legend according to which cacti and rose have the same birthday and they exchanged their gifts – the rose gave cactus thorns to defend itself,and the rose gave the cactus its beautiful flower, not to say about it that it’s ugly.

This type of cacti – stinging pears (Opuntia) have a special place in the history of Mexico. They are not accidentally drawn on the national emblem of the country. According to one ancient legend, the Aztecs, tired of wandering in the mountains, they stopped one day on Lake Teskoko. There is a small island and they saw an eagle perched on a cactus Opuntia, dismembering a snake with its beak. It was a good sign for them and right there they founded a city which they called it Tenochtitlanu ( ” sacred place of the stinging pear”). Today there is Mexico City – the capital city.

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