What You Should Know
Cantharellus cibarius is widely viewed as among the most desirable of edible mushrooms. They can be found singly, scattered, in groups, or sometimes clustered on the ground in woods. Its flesh is thick, firm, and it has a somewhat apricot-like scent. Stalks are solid, not hollow.
The caps are generally very small and delicate and have a sweet fruity fragrance similar to apricots.
Widely distributed in Eastern Northern America; found mostly on the ground in broadleaf and mixed broadleaf/conifer forests; usually scattered or occurring in small groups; forms mycorrhizal associations with forest trees in the summer and fall; shows a preference for acid soils.
Other names: Cinnabar Chanterelle, Red Chanterelle.
Cantharellus cinnabarinus Mushroom Identification
Mycorrhizal with hardwoods - especially beech and oaks, but also with shagbark hickory, big-toothed aspen, and other hardwoods; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed in eastern North America.
1-4 cm wide; convex to broadly convex when young, becoming flat or shallowly centrally depressed; bald; dry; the margin inrolled when young, but expanding and becoming wavy with age; flamingo pink to "cinnabar red," pinkish-orange, or reddish-orange.
With well-spaced, well-developed false gills that run down the stem; often developing cross-veins; colored like the cap or slightly paler.
1-4 cm long; 0.5-1 cm wide; equal when young but by maturity usually tapering to the base; bald; dry; colored like the cap or paler; not bruising; basal mycelium white to pale yellowish.
Whitish or tinged with the cap color; not changing color when sliced.
Odor and Taste
Odor sweet and fragrant; taste not distinctive, or slightly peppery.
Iron salts on flesh negative to very pale gray; on undersurface negative to very pale gray.
Whitish or slightly pinkish.
Spores 6-8 x 3.5-5 µ; ellipsoid; occasionally constricted; smooth; inamyloid; ochraceous in KOH; with minutely granular contents. Basidia 4-6-sterigmate; 50-75 µ long. Elements from cap surface 3-8 µ wide; thin- or thick-walled; hyaline to yellow; septate; clamped at septa; terminal cells cylindric to clavate.
Cantharellus cinnabarinus Look-Alikes
The flame chanterelle (edible), is larger, yellowish, and soon hollow. It does have false gills, but they usually turn lavender at maturity.
Also edible is a miniature yellow chanterelle that can be even smaller than its cinnabar cousin.
Cantharellus cinnabarinus Health Benefits
Since Chanterelle mushroom contains about 1.87 mg of iron (which is 23% of the daily recommended value), it helps with the proper flow of blood in the brain, encourages cognitive activity, and creates new neural pathways, helping to prevent some disorders like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Beside iron, it also contains copper, a highly essential mineral that contributes to normal growth and development and strengthens the immune system.
Heart related conditions and bone health
Chanterelle is famous for being rich in Vitamin D and fiber, which helps in burning belly fat, fighting off heart diseases, and supporting bone health to act as an anti-inflammatory agent for the body.
Cantharellus cinnabarinus Taxonomy
Cantharellus/ Chanterelle mushroom was discovered and named in 1821 by Elias Fries, a Swedish mycologist who declared them to be "one of the most important and best edible mushrooms." Because they hold up to 90% water and can be cooked without any butter or oil, they became popular through French cuisine.
Described as Agaricus cinnabarinus in 1822, it was later transferred to Cantharellus cinnabarinus in 1832, where it still resides today. Cantharellus texensis (Buyck et al. 2011), C. coccolobae (Buyck et al. 2016a) and C. corallinus (Buyck et al. 2016b) are all recently described species which have been called C. cinnabarinus in North America.
Cantharellus cinnabarinus Synonyms
Agaricus cinnabarinus Schwein. 1822
Chanterel cinnabarinus (Schwein.) Murrill 1913 No. 1
Recipe: Cantharellus cinnabarinus Sauce
This is a simple sauce that tastes creamy and luxurious without using heavy cream – highlighting the natural flavor of some of the seasons’ finest wild mushrooms.
Melt / heat in a sautee pan:
2 tbs butter or oil
1 tbs. whole field garlic bulbils or conventional or field garlic cloves, minced
2-3 oz shallots, finely chopped
A grating of fresh nutmeg
Sautee the onions and garlic until softened, then add:
1/2 lb. of chanterelle mushrooms, chopped into similar-sized pieces
Cook the mushrooms until they are softened but not yet completely tender, and add:
1 tbs. potato starch (corn starch may also be used. Flour can be used but must be well-cooked to avoid leaving an off taste)
Stir and sautee for 1-2 minutes, then add, slowly, mixing to incorporate :
1 1/2 cups hot whole milk, preferably fresh and of very good quality
Cook while slowly adding the milk for fifteen minutes or so. Add seasoning to taste while the sauce reduces a bit. If it becomes to thick and/or is cooking too fast add 1-2 stock cubes or ice cubes and reduce heat if needed. Season with :
Freshly ground black or white pepper to taste (optional)
Salt to taste (not optional)
Fresh or good quality dried thyme to taste
Once the sauce is close to the desired consistency and the mushrooms are mouth-tender, remove the sauce from the heat. If it is very hot, allow it to cool a bit before adding :
1/2 cup sour cream, preferably at room temperature
Snipped chives if desired
Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve immediately.
If not eating immediately, allow the sauce to cool on its’ own without adding the sour cream. When serving, reheat and then stir the sour cream in, with chives if desired.
Recipe: Chanterelle Bisque
12 oz fresh chanterelles or 8 oz chanterelles sauted in butter
2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 medium Vidalia onion or sweet onion diced finely
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 cup sherry
sprig of thyme
sprig of parsley
1 bay leaf
dash of cayenne
2 c chicken broth
2 c half and half
1 T lemon juice
pinch of saffron
How to cook
In a heavy bottom pan, saute onion in butter and salt on medium heat
Add Chanterelles and garlic and saute 5 minutes for fresh chanterelles - 1 minute for cooked chanterelles.
Add sherry to deglaze the pan.
Add herbs and chicken broth, bring to a simmer and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
Add half and half and lemon juice and then puree.
Put back on heat and let it almost reach a boil.
Remove from heat and add saffron and let it infuse for a few minutes.
Serve garnished with a spoonful of herbed yogurt cheese
Recipe: Chanterelle Risotto Recipe
4 T butter
6 garlic scapes and bulbs chopped or 2 cloves garlic minced
4 c fresh chanterelles roughly chopped
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2 c risotto
1/2 c dry white wine
5 c chicken or mushroom stock
1/2 c half and half
1 tsp parsley minced
pinch of saffron
2 oz parmesan grated
How to cook
In a saucepan bring the stock to a boil and cover. Keep at a low simmer.
In a heavy bottom, pan saute garlic scapes, bulbs, chanterelles, salt and red pepper in butter for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Turn up the heat to medium-high and add risotto and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.
Add wine and let it cook off for a minute or so.
Stirring constantly, add broth 1/3 cup at a time cooking until each 1/3 cup is mostly absorbed before adding the next. You may not need all of the broth. This should take about 20 minutes. Check toward the end for doneness.
Finish by adding cream, parsley, and saffron, remove from heat, and cover for a minute or two.
Serve with grated parmesan.
Recipe: Chanterelle Pâté
12 Tbls softened unsalted butter
12 oz cleaned fresh chanterelles, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Splash of sherry, marsala or white wine
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tbls parsley, chopped
How to cook
Sauté chanterelles, garlic, salt, and 8 tablespoons of butter on medium-high heat until the mushrooms begin to give up their juices (about five minutes).
Add wine, tomato paste, and cayenne. Cook about 1 more minute.
Transfer mixture to the food processor and add 4 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
Puree mixture until smooth.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and pulse food processor to combine. Overprocessing will diminish the orange color.
Serve on toast or crackers. This freezes well.
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