Chanterelles in Abundance

It’s been a strange year for chanterelles. In one area we’ve been picking all we wanted for four weeks now. A few miles away, in a spot that is usually great, they have produced poorly so far. My hope is that, overall, fruiting will be spread out across environments over time. I’ve picked one area weekly – four times!!

In addition, I’ve been finding the delicious Lactarius corrugis as well as L. volemus. Mostly they’ve been under scarlett oak on ridge tops.

Also a few beefsteak and Laetiporous cincinnatus. Oysters are up also.

It’s a good time to be in the woods. We are still 18+” over average rainfall

 

Chanterelle Tips

In the Great Valley of East Tennessee we are 16 inches above average rainfall as of July 3. That has meant a LOT of chanterelles, but it also means picking a lot of wet ones. This can mean problems in storage. I keep mine in an extra refrigerator, in a spare basket(s), covered by a dish towel. Sometimes you may want to pre-dry them first. The picture above is 8 pounds I picked this morning. I laid them out on my porch table with a light breeze blowing on them from a ceiling fan. Once they dry I’ll put them in the frig.

ALWAYS examine EVERY chanterelle as you pick them, even in the middle of a large dense patch. Below is a picture of a poisonous Amanita growing between two chanterelles. I actually picked it, but when I turned it over to trim and examine the underside of the cap, I saw that I had an Amanita. Tunnel vision in a mushroom patch can be dangerous. Developing good picking habits prevents inadvertent collections of unwanted species.

 

Along this same line, I had someone come up to me in the market Saturday with her “prized chanterelle”. It was a beautiful Jack-O’Lantern. I was able to show her the gills and discuss the differences with her. Last year I found a single Jack in the midst of a chanterelle patch myself. Looking around I finally spotted all the others on the back side of a nearby dead tree.

Just a tip: Examine every mushroom before it goes in the basket and err on the side of caution!