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For me, December & January is a time to find winter chanterelles. These golden legged mycorrhizal mushrooms are a fantastic find with their earthy & peppery flavours. Tips & techniques include fermented, pickled, breaded with garlic butter & cooked over fire.

GeorgeFlavour Fred
WHY I LOVE WINTER CHANTERELLES (Cantharellus tubaeformis)

Foraging for mushrooms is fantastic and opens your mind to the nature that is all around us. It is also an opportunity to see how different mushrooms grow and how they interrelate. Winter chanterelles are one of my favourites for a number of reasons.

Identifying them is straightforward (please use as many guides as possible) and they also have few insects and bugs within so can often be consumed straight away. I often eat them raw as it is one of few wild mushrooms where this is possible.


The best location to find them is around beech and pine trees (rarely under oak) and preserving them is key as they are very often plentiful.

Looking is tough as the woodland floor turns from a mixture of brown to a mosaic of fallen leaves, brown trumpet caps with their golden stems on this tasty mushroom.

I find them in December and January and this member of the Cantharellus genus, is easily identifiable and home to many choice edible mushrooms. where most have wrinkled ridges rather than gills or tubes.

*always forage with an expert and use as many guides as possible.  Find the fun in identification before edibility.  Safety first!
Foraging for Winter Chanterelles can result in a big yield. These are packed full of umami and, given the quantities, I like to utilise several cooking and preservation processes.
  1. Fresh: – used in many dishes fresh this deep hit is very welcome in a huge number of dishes. Here I bread them like the 80’s classic breaded mushrooms and cooked over fire at Oren London
  2. Freezing: – Here is where I will make a pie mix or filling that can be frozen and used at a later date
  3. Preservation: 2 methods including a simple white wine pickle with aromatics; and brining to ferment the mushrooms that will maximise the probiotics that your micro-biome will love you for.
Pipe garlic butter into the trumpet of the mushroom.  It also has an interesting stem that often has hollow spaces ready for the garlic butter.  This video is a plant-based recipe using plant milk, seasoned flour and breadcrumbs.  Once prepared they are ready to shallow fry and great with a wedge of lemon.
It can be a mix for anything really but onions, garlic, winter chanterelles, wholegrain mustard and cream cheese make up the mix.  Delicious
Equal parts of white wine, white wine vinegar, & water then brought to the boil.  At this point turn off the heat and put in aromatics you desire. I used lemon peel, fennel seeds and star anise.  Once cooled this is ready to pour over many wild items that can be eaten raw.
Just like making lacto-fermented dill cucumbers.  Its quite simple but sounds fancy.  All that is required is a ratio of salt (3.5%) to water that I’ve boiled to sterilise and dissolve the sale. Placed in a sterilised jar that is kept under parchment paper.
Think of it like creating a walled garden for the fermentation to begin.  Using aromatics once more I pour the cooled brine over clean and prepped mushrooms into a clean jar.  Keeping this jar at room temperature for 10 days away from direct sunlight bubbles will form.
They are lacto-fermented which is now “pickled” by the process. I then move these out into a smaller jar and store in the fridge to use whenever required.
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Author george

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