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Saturday, July 30, 2011

CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS - FORAGERS' TREASURE: HEALTH BENEFITS AND USES OF CHANTERELLES: SIMPLE RECIPE FOR CHANTERELLES


CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS, CANTHARELLUS CIBARIUS
Chanterelles have a meaty texture, with a mildly peppery taste and smell a little of apricots or peaches when freshly gathered. They grow under not on trees so if you go foraging for chanterelles (and they are well worth the effort) remember this point as they resemble other fungi which are poisonous. This is true of the False Chanterelle (Hygrophropsis arantiaca) which has orange gills and a darker cap than a true chanterelle. The Latin name Cantharellus comes from the Greek kανθαρέλλος which means cup or drinking vessel, given to it because of the shape of the chanterelles’ cap.
  Chanterelles grow in many parts of the world, although there are variants. It is the state mushroom of Oregon USA (but that’s the Pacific golden chanterelle) and is the girolle of Europe, (gallinaccio in Italian). The Italian variety has an intense flavour although the ones in Britain may be mild or intense in flavour, depending on where they grow. In German it is known as the pfifferling, because of that peppery taste. They grow in Asia too and I’m told there are a lot of them in Pakistan’s Kashmir province along with morels (gucchi).The locals call them siri.
Golden Pacific chanterelles
   They are one of the more expensive mushrooms, but are not anywhere near as expensive as truffles. Our ancestors would certainly have eaten them and they would have been gathered by peasants throughout history, with these and truffles, peasant food wasn’t too bad, although of course such food is seasonal with chanterelles being found mainly in the spring and autumn or in the rainy seasons. Traditionally mushrooms particularly chanterelles have been assumed to be aphrodisiacs, with the 11th century Normans in Britain feeding them to grooms at their wedding feasts. The minerals they contain along with the amino acids and vitamins, probably make them good for the libido, especially for men with erectile dysfunctions.
  Chanterelles have an affinity with certain trees and particularly birch, beech, oak, and pine in descending order, as they seem to like birch trees best, but they also seem to quite like larch and sweet chestnut trees too. They grow in soil which is damp, but not swampy or marshy ground.
  If you go picking them, make sure that you wash them thoroughly and clean the gills. This is best done with a soft toothbrush.
  They are great added to soups and stews and go well with eggs, but can be used to accompany any meat dish. Treat them as you would any other mushroom as far as cooking goes. Personally I love them and am always happy when I find them either in woods or on a supermarket shelf.
False chanterelles- poisonous!
  Like other mushrooms they contain vitamins A and D as well as some of the B-complex ones. They contain all the essential amino acids and glutamic acid is believed to boost the immune system and may help fight cancer, infections and rheumatoid arthritis. There is evidence that it inhibits blood clotting, which is valuable in the fight against heart disease. As for minerals, they contain potassium which regulates blood pressure and the contractions of the heart muscle; copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium which is good for the mood and the brain. It’s not so long ago that people used to think that there was little nutritional value in a mushroom; they thought they mainly consisted of water. (The same was true for lettuce.) They also contain fibre in the form of cellulose, which helps with the disposal of wastes from the body and so helps to prevent constipation and piles.
  Try this simple recipe, or use your chanterelles as a stuffing for crêpes or a topping for a homemade pizza. You can use this as a side dish or with pasta.


SIMPLE CHANTERELLES
Ingredients
Chanterelles, cleaned thoroughly and chopped
50 gr butter
3 tbsps olive oil
3 or 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
a few sprigs curly-leaves parsley, shredded
freshly ground black pepper
salt if necessary to taste
a little brandy
¼ pt natural yoghurt or fresh single cream

Method
Heat the oil and butter in a pan and add the onion and garlic and fry until the onions are translucent, stirring so that they don’t burn.
Add the chanterelles and fry for 5 mins, stirring so that they don’t burn.
Add the brandy if using and the parsley and cook for two or three minutes, stirring.
Now add the yoghurt or cream, stirring and the black pepper, and bring to just under boiling point.
Remove from the heat and serve as a side dish or as a sauce for pasta.
This has Taste and is a Treat.



3 comments:

  1. Excellent info. I found a bunch of these and have them in a paper bag in the fridge and will cook them tomorrow.

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  2. If you gather these in the prime months but feel you would like to have them at a later time in the year after the freeze just stick them in the dehydrator and vacuum seal them use them with fried steak in soups and even in a pot of beans there great in almost any thing.

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  3. Dan R. 10/20/2013 In my opinion they are the best. I have picked them for over 40 years. This year is a good one. My first picking is a five gallon bucket in about 1 hr.

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