…and that’s enough poetry for this post, haha!
Let’s move on to some brief facts instead (don’t worry, there’s an inspirational mini recipe at the end of the post too…):
Chanterelles grow in many places across the globe. However, it seems as it’s probably not the same species growing everywhere, but rather different variations.
As I understand it, North American variations are often much bigger (of course… ;) ) while the European versions are smaller (but also claimed to be more flavorful).
They are full of vitamins and minerals, and are particularly rich in potassium and vitamin D.
They can be used in stews, soups, sauces etc. but, since most of the chanterelle’s flavor compounds are fat-soluble, sautéing or frying is probably the most popular ways to cook them.
Chanterelles grow in both hardwoods and coniferous forests and always has a “tree partner” of which roots the chanterelle mycelia lives in symbiosis with, meaning the tree and mushroom share nutrition with each other. They are dependent on this relationship (called “mycorrhiza”), and this is why commercial cultivation hasn’t really succeeded (yet at least…experiments are ongoing).
The lack of commercially grown chanterelles often result in a quite high price at the grocery store, but if you have the possibility to pick your own it’s in my opinion one of the best food luxuries you can get for free! (…and if not, the price is still almost always worth the occasional experience).
Most guides says chanterelles are easy to find….I disagree. Maybe it’s just my un-trained eye, but around here I find the visible part of the chanterelle cap often being about the same size and color as fallen birch leaves…and fallen birch leaves are eve-ry-where!
On top of that, they’re often covered by moss which makes it even harder…but it’s well worth it once you find some ;)
For example, this spot:…
…hid these chanterelles:
My absolute favorite way to cook chanterelles is to fry them hard in butter, with just a pinch of salt and pepper, until they’re almost a bit crunchy in the edges. A lot of recipes calls for finely chopped shallots, onions or garlic to be added, but frankly I don’t think that’s necessary. There is just so much flavor in the chantarells, and the flavor is so unique by itself that I really don’t want to mix it up with other flavors.
So…here’s what I do (not going to give you any measurements here because it’s all depending on the amount of chanterelles you’ve got available…you just have to follow your instincts…) :
Serve as a side dish to your favorite meat, and I dare to say that almost any meat dish will be enhanced and lifted to a new level by the addition of butter-fried chanterelles.
Note: if you do want to add finely chopped shallots, onions or garlic, do so at the same time you add the butter.