Vancouver Island Gold Rush

It’s on! Every year, prospectors descend upon our local woods in search of the golden veins that weave amongst the underbrush and ride the spines of fallen trees.

Chanterelles, the little golden fungi we go crazy for, are found in many parts of the world and in varying ecosystems. Locally they grow in clusters from beneath coniferous deadfall from late June and into early winter.

Harvesting can be done with the simplest of tools. Seen in the photo is a specialized mushroom knife equipped with the curved blade and a brush. The trick is to remove as much excess dirt and pine needles before they reach the bag. A mesh satchel is recommended as it serves a few purposes. Little holes allow unwanted particles and insects to fall back to the forest floor. Plastic bags should be avoided as mushrooms hold a lot of moisture and the evaporation/sweat may cause your haul to go mushy before it reaches the pot. 

Sauteed in butter, oil or cream is best as this allows their fat-soluble compounds to break down and expel their rich flavor. This is literally a food fit for a king, as historically, chanterelles were served in palace kitchens during the 18th century.

I can’t decide what is more delightful, the thrill of a successful forage or the decadent meal that results.



*Please note: mushroom harvesting can be dangerous and lethal in some circumstances. Please ensure that you consult a local expert before ingesting wild mushrooms.

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