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Home » Nature » Flora & Fauna » Cantharellus cibarius, a.k.a. Chanterelle

Cantharellus cibarius, a.k.a. Chanterelle

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I found a cool site for mushrooms, and I even learned some new things about this mushroom I have been collecting all my life 🙂

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This pleasantly aromatic fleshy wild mushroom shines like an exotic golden flower when seen from a distance against the drab autumn forest background. Also known as “golden chanterelle” and “egg mushroom,” it has a magical appeal for most culinary experts in Europe, United States, and Asia. But all chanterelles are not alike. European and Asian forms are usually about the size of a thumb. In the eastern United States they are the size of a fist. But, ah, in the west they can be as large as two hand spans–from little finger to little finger. Chanterelles weighing as much as two pounds are not uncommon – not in Europe, though… 🙂

They are golden looking, golden tasting, and golden priced. The cap is fleshy, with wavy, rounded cap margins tapering downward to meet the stem. The gills are not the usual thin straight panels hanging from the lower surface of the cap, as we see in the common store mushroom. Instead, the ridges are rounded, blunt, shallow, and widely spaced. At the edge of the cap they are forked and interconnected. The chanterelle’s aroma is variously described as apricot- or peachlike. It is unmistakably different and identifiable.

Chanterelles will reappear in the same places year after year if carefully harvested so as not to disturb the ground in which the mycelium (the vegetative part of the mushroom) grows. There are yearly variations–some years more mushrooms, some less. They fruit from September to February on the West Coast and almost all summer in the east, sometimes coming up in several flushes. We think of them as promiscuous in their plant relationships, because we have found their mycelial threads intertwined with the roots of hardwood trees, conifers, shrubs, and bushes. They enjoy deep, old leaf litter. Chanterelles are seldom invaded by insects. And forest animals do not share our interest in them as food.

Chanterelles contain fiber and are a good source of vitamins B and D, as well as minerals, including selenium and copper. Eating them may help stimulate your immune system.

 

Source: mostly http://www.mssf.org/cookbook/chanterelle.html

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