Week of August 5, 2014 - Mushroom Walk

Tuesday, August 05, 2014 10:41 AM | Anonymous

Mushroom Walk

The weather has been perfect for the mushrooms to fruit: cool nights, hot days, and lots of rain. I am blessed with many sorts of delicious chanterelles. Here are three of my favorites.

Black Chanterelles (Chantharellus cornucopioides)

The “horn of death” is not easy to spot in the leaf litter, but once you spy one, you will surely see more. The color ranges from deep black to fallen leaf brown. The ones in the first photo are growing so closely together that they look like a mushroom rose. I pick them carefully, leaving several large ones (grandmothers) to sporulate (reproduce). I break off the dirt at the base of those I pick and rush home with them to saute them in generous amounts of organic pasture butter. Two little girls lend their hands to carry our finds home. Such a heavenly taste!!

Golden Chanterelles (Chantharellus cibarius) 
These big, meaty chanterelles are easy to spot. They lie like shards of sunlight on the forest floor. They  inhabit forests throughout the temperate zone and are beloved by all, for they are easy to identify and delicious. Notice that the chanterelles do not have gills, like most mushrooms, but folds. Also notice that they are vase shaped, rather than umbrella-like.  In German golden chanterelles are pfifferling, a name that always makes me smile. Perhaps I will name a goat after them. A favorite way to prepare these mushrooms is to pull them apart from top to bottom into shreds and then slowly simmer the pulled apart ‘shrooms in full-fat milk or cream.

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