Appalachian Food

Finding Chanterelles


I spent yesterday morning learning how to identify and find chanterelle mushrooms. A friend invited me to go with her and her girls last year but it never worked out. When she invited me again last week I decided to make it a priority to tag along and learn.

Several years ago I helped a friend at the Folk School find them on one of the trails there, but I didn’t really pay attention or learn what to look for—she pointed and I harvested 🙂

Yesterday we went to an area just down the road from my house and immediately begin to find the little orange delicacies. Knowing my house is between the Folk School and the place we were at I just knew they’d be in our holler too.

When I got home I took a quick look in the woods on one side of the house, but didn’t really see anything. I knew I had to take Granny to the doctor so I decided I’d look more later in the day.

As I prepared the chanterelles from the morning hunt for supper Chitter came in and said “Is that what they look like? I know where a whole bunch of those are at the creek.”

Sure enough after supper she took me to the creek where there were chanterelles growing. A little after that The Deer Hunter said “Those are growing out my trail in the back of the house too.”

So it seem I have an ample supply of chanterelles right here at home and I’m just tickled to death!

I sautéed the ones we harvested in butter and garlic and they were so good! I found a recipe that suggested cooking them by themselves in a cast iron pan with no oil so that the moisture in them could cook out and evaporate before adding butter and garlic.

If you have tips on cooking chanterelles please share!


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  • Reply
    October 1, 2021 at 8:02 am

    I was blessed this year with 2 big patches of chanterelles.
    If you have a bunch, they dry well, a dehydrator works well, an attic almost as well.
    Careful, Jack o lantern look really close and are poisonous, not deadly but they will make you sick.
    They grow under the same conditions and are often in with the chanterelles.
    I use a big makeup brush to clean them and each one is closely examined.

  • Reply
    Christie Trout
    September 22, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Hi Tipper, mycology is a new hobby for me & my husband (Jack). We hunt for chanterelles, and lion’s mane in fall. I have a recipe for “Uncle Don’s Chanterelle Mushroom Soup”.

    1 1/2 cups Chanterelles
    1 Medium onion diced
    1 tbsp. Olive oil
    1 tbsp. Butter
    1 qt. chicken stock
    Sautée chanterelles & onion in butter & oil. When they are tender, take half of the chanterelles and put in a pot with chicken stock.

    In origanal pot add flour & butter to chanterelles until flour is cooked. .
    1/2 C. Flour
    1/2 c. Butter
    1 cup. Heavy cream
    1/2 cup. White vermouth
    Wisk this mixture to warm chicken stock. Cook until the stock is thick. Add heavy cream & vermouth. Gently wisk and heat through. It’s pretty fast & very delicious.

    I sautée my chanterelles in a dry cast iron skillet on medium heat, more water than you think comes out. At that point I put the mushrooms in a freezer bag, then in a paper bag & store in the freezer. I can’t wait to have a taste summer, in the middle of winter.

    Hope you try it! All good things to you and yours,
    Christie Trout

    • Reply
      September 23, 2021 at 9:30 am

      Christie-thank you!!

  • Reply
    Sue Myers
    August 1, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    YUM…. don’t know that mushroom. Wonderful that you have found some in your backyard creek! That Katie comes in handy with all that time spent at the creek. I love morels and found a few earlier this summer.

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    July 23, 2021 at 7:48 pm

    Ron, I thank you for that new information on “streak’ed leaf'” The name you mentioned sounds Indian, but I never knew it by that name. It was indeed bitter without a bit of sugar in it, so it must be the same. I remember it growing close to the ground and with the leaf variegation you mentioned.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 23, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    I do like mushrooms on a homemade pizza and in soup. I also put them in a skillet with just a bit of bacon grease and butter and sauté them with sliced onions, bell peppers and pork kielbasa. When everything is sweated down I add half a small head of rough chopped cabbage and let it steam until it is tender. I use store bought baby portobellos or shitakes. I would like to try wild mushrooms but I can’t carry a chair out through the woods.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 23, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    How did you get the little é over the first e in sautéed? I can do it but it takes a while to find the alt code to do it. Is there something simpler?

    • Reply
      July 23, 2021 at 5:09 pm

      Ed-my spell check did it for me 🙂

  • Reply
    Valeri K Feinbloom
    July 23, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Oh, what a blessing! I just saw that they are going for $48/pound on Etsy. You surely have some angel on shoulder. Hugs

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    July 23, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    I heard a version of this years ago…..
    Here lies my best old friend named Burt
    Self taught wild mushroom gatherer expert.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    July 23, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    In 1986 the Guided Missile Cruiser, USS Reeves, made a historic visit to the Chinese port of Qingdao. We were the first U.S. warship to visit a Chinese port since 1949. I was in charge of Foodservice in the ship, in other words, the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. Although I didn’t need any stores I was encouraged by the State Department representatives to order a few items from the Chinese Navy supply system. One iten I ordered was a small amount of fresh mushrooms. The delivery invoice listed them as “Fungus.” Not sure of the kind of mushroom, the quality, nor their growing media, I refrained from serving them and they went to the garbage grinder.

  • Reply
    Donald Wells
    July 23, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Tipper, as the old saying goes, you are eating high on the hog,from what I’ve been reading the chanterelles you been eating are a real delicacy. (Anywhere from 18 to 25 dollars a pound.

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    July 23, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Both my wife and I love mushrooms. Do you eat the Chantereles by themselves, or do you incorporate them into other dishes…like soups and such? We always get mushrooms on our pizzas, but they’re nothing, compared to those you pick fresh from the woods.

    • Reply
      July 23, 2021 at 11:20 am

      Ray-first time I’ve ever cooked them but I hope to try a lot of different ways!

  • Reply
    Patti I
    July 23, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Yes! You must be sure that they are actually chanterelles. There are look alikes.

    • Reply
      July 23, 2021 at 11:20 am

      For sure! Luckily I had a great teacher

  • Reply
    Ray Presley
    July 23, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Really enjoy your “down home” recipes, which remind me of home in Tennessee. Have you ever heard of making cough syrup from small plants from the woods. We called them streake’d leaf, and it was always my job to go out and come back with it. I’ve been off here for awhile and missed the Appalachian family. Noticed that chitter is wearing some glitter on her finger. Congratulations to her and hopes for an extended family of good, God-fearing children

    • Reply
      Ron Stephens
      July 23, 2021 at 2:29 pm

      Ray, your “streaked leaf” sounds like something we called “rats vein” (no idea why). It grows about 6 inches high and has dark green leaves with much lighter green ‘streaks’. My Grandma said – if my memory is working right – it was good for the kidneys. It is very bitter. Another name for it is pipsissewa. I have quite a bit of it in the yard under the trees and more all the time.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    July 23, 2021 at 9:16 am

    I don’t remember ever eating these but they sound good. Guess I will start looking when I walk in the woods.

  • Reply
    Cheryl W.
    July 23, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Whenever we have LOTS of spring and summer rain we start looking for the chanterelles to start popping out in July. They are all along my lane and the path through the woods. (There is a bad mushroom that looks almost like a chanterelle, same gold color but doesn’t have the ruffles. Prof. Google is a good guide on the differences.)
    You do not want to pull them out of the ground because they do have a delicate spiderweb-like root system that should stay intact so more will grow. We cut them near the ground with a pocket knife. When I get them home I give them a good rinse in the sink, then let them soak in a tub of water to let any remaining debris settle to the bottom of the tub while I am preparing them for the frypan. I cut them up and put them into the pan to cook the water out. I then add butter and garlic salt and let them simmer for about 10 minutes. I put about one half cup in a “snack” size zip bag, and then put about 4-5 of those small bags into a pint ziplock freezer bag. They freeze beautifully. They are meaty and tasty in eggs, with steak, and on a homemade pizza.

    • Reply
      July 23, 2021 at 11:21 am

      Cheryl-thank you for sharing your method!

  • Reply
    Margie G
    July 23, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Mushrooms and me do not get along. However there was a mushroom sitting in a bar. He wasn’t having any success meeting people although he was a real “fun guy”…. so he left. Lol. I think those bright yellow mushrooms are very pretty. I’m glad you have access to all your heart desires. Ever since I saw “Into the Wild,” I’ve been watchful of wild edibles. BTW, I found a lady who makes soaps with 50 percent olive oil. The prices are reasonable and my skin is less itchy and dry. If you don’t care if I plug her merchandise here, it’s DEBBIE’S SOAPS of Muncie, IN. I hope it helps somebody.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    July 23, 2021 at 8:48 am

    I love chanterelle mushrooms! I’ve been finding them for a few days now. I usually just cook them up in a little butter in a skillet.

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    July 23, 2021 at 8:45 am

    I like looking at mushrooms but I have never eaten one that I picked. I have a friend who is a mushroom expert. I should get her to teach me more about them.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 23, 2021 at 8:24 am

    I think I have them all over the yard after the abundant rain. I had thought though that they were bigger. The big ones of these are just about two inches across.

    I have never gathered chanterelles or tasted them. I have gathered morels.

    This has been a good fungus summer. Enjoy them while you can because I suspect they will not appear every year.

  • Reply
    July 23, 2021 at 8:14 am

    When I was a teen one of my favorite pastimes was always getting a gang together of friends, family or children to walk and explore the logging roads or trails that were near our home. I regret not paying more attention and learning more about the plant and animal life along the roadways. There was no internet and no Google, but every family had a set of those gigantic encyclopedias to learn from. Dad had an old Farm Use Only 4WD, later, and we had loads of fun exploring in that old truck in which we sometimes shared with random critters such as field mice. If I had access to your blog then it would have been such a great learning tool for everything around. I know I have passed by those same Chanterelles without noticing. We never even looked for Morels mushrooms, because nobody taught us about them.
    My all time favorite adventure was to take children and have a treasure hunt with cheap prizes. It is amazing what their young minds think is interesting.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 23, 2021 at 7:45 am

    Now Tpper you have to show me what they look like so I can try my luck at finding some. I like mushroons and would love to try some wild ones! I don’t go picking mushrooms unless I know for sure they are safe to eat. I know they many of the wild ones are poisonous. These certainly are a stunning color!

  • Reply
    Sue W.
    July 23, 2021 at 5:46 am

    There are boatloads of them growing in our across the road neighbors yard. I don’t know as I’d be brave enough to eat them though!

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