The Chanterelle is one of the most highly prized mushrooms there is. Every forager has this bright auburn coloured on mushroom bucket list, once found the location will be kept close to their chest.
They can usually be found around birch or beech trees but you might spot them around oak, pine, and even spruce. Chanterelles are right up there with ceps and morels as being highly sought after by chefs for their sweet apricot smell and delicate earthy flavour.
It is no surprise that they have been eaten as far back as the 16th century in France, influencing french cuisine by becoming symbols of wealth which they still hold to this day.
July to December
The cap is a flat funnel shape when young with wavy or irregular edges. When old the Chanterelle cap begins to turn upwards. It will be the mushroom’s distinct colour of orange or yellow.
What gives the Chanterelle away apart from its colour and cap are the gills. Very distinct among mushrooms, the gills are fake and run along the underside of the cap in a forked manner.
The stem of the is solid around the base and will be a white or pale yellow colour when cut open.
Found among coniferous forests or mixed woodland, the Chanterelle is common in Britain and Ireland but will be local to some particular patches. They will be found in the mossy areas of the woodlands they are located in.
Chanterelles have a number of lookalikes so we suggest that you proceed with caution and only forage these with an expert.
The false chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca), jack-o’-lanterns (Omphalotus olearius, Omphalotus illudens, Omphalotus olivascens), or amethyst chanterelle all look similar but are poisonous.