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Chanterelles: Foraging for Golden Treasure

Chanterelles

It’s impossible to describe the flavor of these mushrooms adequately; there’s nothing else that tastes quite like them. You may just have to find some of your own and cook them up to understand how amazing these golden mushrooms taste (especially when cooked on a Memphis Wood Fire Grill). Late summer, starting in mid-August and through to the early fall is the best time of year to forage for chanterelles.

Foraging

While people from cultures around the world have been gathering foods from the wild for thousands of years many of us rely on the local grocery store as our only food source. However there is a growing movement afoot that’s inspiring many to put on their hiking boots. Foraging for food is making comeback.

Don’t Learn the Hard Way!

Getting out into the wild and foraging for supper may lift your spirits, not to mention it’s easy on the pocket book; but it can also be dangerous for the uninitiated. It’s not always easy to distinguish edible items from look-alikes that are poisonous. We recommend hooking up with an experienced forager for your first few forays into the field.

Rules of Foraging

There are a few important etiquette rules to follow when asking an “old-timer” for help. Most foragers revisit favorite spots. They’ve spent a fair amount of time hiking and exploring to identify these areas and often keep them secret. If you’re lucky enough to find someone willing to take you under their wing you need to make it clear you will not return to their foraging locales. Besides, finding your own treasure trove of edible plants and fungi is part of the foraging thrill.

Other important rules to follow include:

  • When heading out into a new area make sure that you are not treading on private property or public land that is protected.
  • Knowing the history of the area is important too. Make sure the plants and fungi you gather are toxin-free.
  • You want to preserve the patch and ensure the plants you gather continue to grow in the areas where you forage so … always leave some behind. Besides – other animals, insects and birds may share your taste and need these same berries, plants and fungi for survival.
  • If you are heading out alone make sure someone you trust knows where you are going and when you expect to return.

If you don’t know someone who is willing to teach you the tricks of foraging try a quick google search. There are many classes available and you may be able to find something going on close to where you live.

Easy Chanterelle Mushroom Recipe

Chanterelles on a grillChanterelles are delicately flavored so it’s best to let them shine without unnecessary additions that will mask their unique taste. We keep it simple; butter, a bit of salt and a grinding of pepper. That’s it.

Clean about ½ lb of chanterelles and gently pat them dry. Fire up the Memphis pellet grill and pre-heat the grill to the OF3 setting. Place a cast iron frying pan in the middle of the lower grate over the flavorizer insert. Let the pan get good and hot. Melt 1 or 2 T of butter and add the chanterelles. Sauté the mushrooms while giving them an occasional stir. Chanterelles have a slightly dense and chewy texture when done.