Winter Chanterelle mushrooms

The last week of October. It’s dark by 6, there’s a chill in the air, and the trees are wearing their full autumn colours. The wild mushroom season is drawing to a close… or is it?

Look closely among the fallen leaves, for a mushroom that is almost perfectly camouflaged. The Winter Chanterelle or Yellowfoot (Craterellus tubaeformis).

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It’s easy to identify with its dull brown cap, pale grey hymenium (the bit underneath!) of false gills that extend down the yellow stem. You’ll find it under spruce, pine and beech.

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It’s as tasty as the Common Chanterelle with a stronger and more peppery flavour, and less fruitiness. It also lends itself to drying unlike its summer counterpart. It’s robust enough to handle itself well in a soup or a stew as well as the classics: toast, omelettes and creamy garlicky pasta. Pair with wood sorrel, one of the last of the winter greens.

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What do you think?