Chanterelles ~ Queen of the Forest
It might be argued that certain areas of the southern Appalachian mountains, could meet the qualifications of a temperate rain forest. Rainfall, canopy cover, and a few other aspects make some of the more densely forested portions of WNC an interesting place for mushrooms!
In the Spring, if you get very lucky, you might find some morels if you look really hard, but few things equal the sight of the ground ‘on fire’ with gorgeous golden orange ‘fragrant chanterelles’. After a moist summer with almost daily rainfall, these beauties can be quite prolific, although they are totally & utterly wild, and must be foraged & wild crafted. Lucky for us they have a relationship with the roots of certain hardwood trees, and come back in the same place year after year.
When it comes to collecting any wild mushroom for eating, making an absolutely positive ID is crucial. Once an ID is 100% positive, it still doesn’t stop there, because when it comes to large patches of mushrooms, you have to check each & every one as you harvest them to make sure that you you don’t accidentally mix in a look alike, which often tend to grow in the same areas.
Once you get past all the necessary mushroom disclaimers, positive IDs, & correct harvesting procedures, it is time to clean them & cook them, and in this particular case, the taste even better then they look!
For more info on “Fragrant Chanterelles (Craterellus odoratus)” check out these links below!