Cantherellus cibarius, the golden chanterelle, grows on forest floors, often near conifers and deciduous trees beginning in July and ending as late as January, and is found throughout the world.
Chanterelles have never been cultivated, because it is impossible to recreate the complex symbiotic relationship they have with host plants. Lucky for us, the beautiful golden-orange cap with its goblet shape is easily spotted on the forest floor by foragers. Our European chanterelles are packed and flown to us within 24 hours of being plucked from the forest, to keep them as fresh as possible. For such a delicate looking mushroom, the flavor of the chanterelle is powerful, with apricot nuances and a slightly peppery punch that works well with cream and butter. Some maintain that chanterelles need little more than a generous amount of butter and some salt and pepper. Chanterelles have firm, meaty flesh which stands up well to cooking. A simple sauté with olive oil and shallots will allow you to experience the full flavor of this extraordinary mushroom. Use chanterelles anywhere you would use a mushroom: on a burger, in risotto, quiche, or in a white wine sauce. Chanterelles and pasta make a natural pair, but eggs and chanterelles are heavenly together. They are also perfect with pork, chicken, rabbit, veal and quail, either in a stuffing or with a sauce. They will add depth to stews and can be miraculous with scallops or shellfish. And it’s hard to mask the flavor, even with cheese, which makes them an ideal wild edible for all kinds of cooking.