Thursday, 3 July 2008


As you will have gathered from my earlier posts I have caught the Czech mushroom collecting bug. Although you can find early boletus in the woods, my favourite at this time of year is the egg yellow chanterelle. You will find chanterelles in small troops nestled into moss on banks of dappled shade. They are good mushrooms for a beginner as they are easy to identify with their yellow cap fluted down into a yellow stem. Instead of the usual mushroom gills chanterelles have forked ridges which continue from the cap down the stem. Like all mushroom collectors of my acquaintance I have several mushroom identification books (my favourite by the way is the River Cottage Handbook No 1) and these talk about chanterelles having a scent of apricots. Well they do but only in the way that you get those white paints with a hint of apricot. Chanterelles smell of mushrooms with a hint of apricot, which you can miss if you haven't enough of them.

Today I returned home with enough of these yellow treasures to make a dinner of them for my husband and me. They have such a wonderful flavour and texture that they do not need fancy recipes, just fry them and then serve with scrambled eggs and a slice of bread (Czech rye bread if you can get it) and you will be in ecstasy. My husband was quite smitten with them.

PS Chanterelles were not the only thing harvested in the forest today, there were wild raspberries and strawberries too. However those small atom bombs of flavour somehow didn't make it to the basket. Don't tell my old man.

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