Foraging For Chanterelle Mushrooms (And How To Use Them)

One of my new favorite items to forage for  is chanterelles. This convex shaped, yellow to orange yellow mushroom can grow to be  1-10 inches across at the cap.

When they are freshly picked, they have a delicious sweet scent, almost like apricots. The stalk is smooth, has no bulb around the base or ring and will be the same color as the cap.

chanterelles in basket
chanterelles in basket

If you’re interested in learning how to forage for this delicious mushroom – so you can use it in all your favorite ways and recipes! – this guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What is a Chanterelle Mushroom?

The Chanterelle mushroom is a type of edible mushroom in the Cantharellus genus, found in temperate and subtropical regions of the world. It has an orangey yellow color, with a unique trumpet shape that sets it apart from other mushrooms.

The scientific name for the species is Cantharellus cibarius, but it goes by many different names including golden chanterelle, girolle, and Pfifferling (in German).

Chanterelles can be found growing wild in deciduous and coniferous forests throughout Europe, North America, Asia, and even parts of Africa.

They usually appear in late summer or autumn when the conditions are just right – cool temperatures at night and warm temperatures during the day. They prefer moist soil with high amounts of humus or decaying matter.

Chanterelles also offer several nutritional benefits. They’re low in calories but high in dietary fiber which helps keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. These mushrooms are high in protein, vitamin D, and all kinds of B vitamins as well.

They’re also rich in vitamins A & C as well as copper, iron & zinc which are essential for proper immune system functioning. Plus they contain antioxidants which help protect against free radical cell damage from environmental pollutants like smoke & smog.

Where To Find Chanterelles

Due to their mycorrhizal relationship with trees, look for chanterelle mushrooms on the ground, usually near some sort of hardwood (oaks, conifers, etc.).

Chanterelles can also be found in mountainous birch forests and among grasses and low–growing herbs. Chanterelle mushrooms are also “stringy.” You can peel a wedge of cap from the mushroom off all the way down to the end, like string cheese.

Chanterelle mushroom gills are “false gills” that appear like forked folds and are not easily removed from the cap.

They may look “melted” into the mushroom on the underside of the cap itself, and may also run down the stem. Chanterelles do not have true gills. Instead, they have ridges that appear to fork and go all the way down the stem.

Do Chanterelles Come Up Every Year?

The answer varies depending on factors such as climate, weather, location, and when the first season began.

Chanterelles grow in many climates that experience seasonal changes, so they usually appear in the area where they flourish every year. However, extreme weather conditions can affect their availability.

Additionally, due to their propensity to pop up suddenly at certain times of year and in certain places, chanterelles can be considered somewhat unpredictable in some regions – making them all the more exciting to search for!

What Type of Trees Do Chanterelles Grow Near?

Chanterelles have particular preferences when it comes to their growing environment, and the type of trees they are found near can provide valuable clues.

It is common to find chanterelles near hardwood trees such as maple, beech, poplar, and oak; however, they can sometimes appear even in coniferous environments like pine forests.

Knowing the types of trees your local chanterelle population may grow near can give you a head’s up when searching for these sought-after mushrooms!

Can You Find Chanterelles in Winter?

Chanterelles do still grow in winter in certain parts of North America, however, and with a bit of research to discover which season and region you’re looking for these succulent mushrooms, you can find them – even during the winter months!

How Can You Tell a Fake Chanterelle?

Unfortunately, there are a few wild mushrooms that look quite a lot like chanterelles – and knowing the difference in how to identify them (and in what habitat they tend to be found) is helpful.

Here are some tips:

  • True chanterelle mushroom is uniform in a yellow egg yolk color. False chanterelle is more orange in hue and may have a darker center. Chanterelles will give off a white to light yellow spore print.
  • A false chanterelle mushroom will have a hollow stem.
  • Another common lookalike is the jack-o-lantern mushroom. Jack-o-lanterns will grow in large groups, and the stems are attached. Chanterelles are usually solitary or in a small bunch, and the stems are separate.
  • Black chanterelles are not true chanterelles – technically, they’re called black trumpet mushrooms and though in the same family, they’re not exactly the same (though are still safe to eat).
Chanterelle vs False Chanterelle

Where do chanterelles grow? Most often found in the Western United States, up to Alaska.

You may also find them at a local grocery store, but the chanterelle price will be high, especially if it’s been shipped a long way. Chanterelle mushroom season  is commonly mid summer to late fall.

Chanterelles are fat soluble, so they are perfect for sautéing in oil or butter. Perfect chanterelle recipes are using them as a burger replacement, or in a quiche for breakfast.

How to Harvest Chanterelles

Of course, harvesting chanterelles requires more than just an eye for identification; you’ll also need some basic supplies.

A trowel or shovel will come in handy for digging up larger specimens, while a pair of scissors or clippers can help with smaller finds.

Make sure you bring along a bag or basket so that you can transport your bounty home safely. And don’t forget gloves—chanterelles are notoriously difficult to clean and can leave behind an unpleasant odor on your hands if not handled properly!

Once you’ve harvested your chanterelles, it’s time to focus on proper storage methods. Chanterelles are best stored in a paper bag rather than plastic containers so that they don’t become soggy or moldy over time.

If possible, try to store them at room temperature until ready for use; if this isn’t an option, keep them in the fridge for no longer than two days before using them up!

How to Process Chanterelle Mushrooms After Harvesting

The first step in processing chanterelles is to clean them. Start by brushing off any dirt or debris with a soft brush, then rinse them under cold running water.

If there are any woody stems, cut those off with a sharp knife before rinsing. Once they are clean, pat them dry with a paper towel and set aside until you’re ready to use them.

If you have more chanterelles than you can eat in one sitting, the best way to preserve them is by drying them out.

Spread out your cleaned mushrooms on parchment paper-lined baking sheets—make sure none of the pieces are touching each other—and bake at 150°F (65°C) for 45 minutes or until dried out completely.

Once dried, store in an airtight container in a cool place away from light. Rehydrate when ready to use by soaking in hot water for 10-15 minutes before using as desired.

Do Chanterelles Have to Be Cooked?

Although some may think edible wild mushrooms like chanterelles need to be cooked, that isn’t necessarily the case.

Some may enjoy them raw, although they are best served when sautéed quickly in butter or olive oil with a pinch of sea salt. This encourages their natural flavor to come through and prevents them from becoming slimy.

Chanterelles don’t generally require long cooking times either; once the edges start to brown and crisp up, they can be removed from the heat and served.

How to Use Chanterelle Mushrooms

The chanterelle mushroom is an edible mushroom that can be used in all kinds of dishes to add texture and flavor. From soups and stews to sauces, this mushroom is prized by just about every single chef on the planet for its delicious flesh!

Sautéing and Roasting

Sautéed chanterelles provide an earthy, nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with other ingredients like onions, shallots, garlic, and herbs.

You can also roast chanterelles in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit if you want an even crispier texture.

Here’s an easy recipe for roasted chanterelles.

Egg Dishes

Chanterelle mushrooms add an exquisite flavor to egg dishes like omelets and frittatas. To incorporate them into your breakfast favorites, simply sauté some mushrooms before adding them to your eggs.

Or if you want something more substantial, try making a quiche filled with lots of yummy vegetables – just don’t forget the chanterelles!

Here’s one of my favorite recipes.

Pasta Dishes

Chanterelle mushrooms are also great on pasta dishes! To create a flavorful sauce that will highlight their unique taste, simply sauté some garlic and shallots before adding the chanterelles.

Then add cream or white wine and let it simmer until everything has cooked down into a nice sauce. Top off your creation with parmesan cheese for an extra kick of flavor!

Here’s another fun recipe to try.

Chanterelle Mushroom Quiche Recipe

Out of all the dishes that use chanterelle mushrooms, this is by far my favorite! Here’s how to do it.

  • 12 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups chopped chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned
  1. In a medium sized bowl, crack the eggs.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 °F / 175 °C.
  3. Add the milk and whisk together thoroughly. Set aside.
  4. In a hot cast iron skillet, or other ovenproof skillet, melt the butter.
  5. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and mushrooms.
  6. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  7. Pour egg and milk mixture over the veggies.
  8. Sprinkle it with cheese.
  9. Place in the oven, and allow to bake for 45 minutes.
  10. Serve immediately.

Have you ever foraged for chanterelle mushrooms? What was your favorite recipe for them? Be sure to pin this for later!

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