Shortly after the Golden Chanterelle is done appearing for the year this cooler weather species of Chanterelle will grace us with its presence. This is one of a group of mushrooms that are know as a winter mushroom. They have a similar look to chanterelles with their shape and the blunt edge gill like ridges that run partway down the stem. They seem to be half way between a chanterelle and a black trumpet with their semi hollow funnel-like shape. The stems are hollow and there is a slight divot in the top of the cap. As with any mushroom always make sure you are 100% of the identity. Even with having correctly identified it always eat a small portion to make sure you do not have an adverse reaction to it. I have mostly found them growing in large clumps on dead logs that are most of the way rotted. If you find a good area of dead wood you will most likely find these growing from them. I have been able to find them all the way into February, but a series of hard freezes will stop them from growing until the next year
These have a really nice aroma that is almost identical the golden chanterelle. The smell when drying is outstanding. They can be sautéed for truly great flavor but are not nearly as good when deep fried. They are often best plain or in ways that showcase their subtle flavor. They rehydrate much better than a chanterelle, and make a nice mushroom powder that is outstanding for flavoring alfredo, and béchamel based sauces. Since the flavor is subtle it can easily be overpowered with other flavors. A cantharellus/craterellus mix is nice. Chicken, pork or fish, rice, pasta, some vegetables, some cheeses and soups are good choices for recipes using these. I tend to use dehydrate most of these when I find them. They are great fresh but it is nice to be able to them to flavor other meals when you can’t make it to the woods to get more.
Some links to more information
- All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms (perfect back pocket size)
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides) (all inclusive but fairly large)
- There are also several E-books that can be found on Kindle unlimited
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