‘Tis the Season of Chanterelles

Because this weekend was quite pleasant (though getting a bit hotter by yesterday) Meg, Evan, and I went up to Lake Issaqueena and the Issaqueena Experimental Forest on Saturday to do some mushroom hunting.  We received our first bit of confidence that we’d have a successful foray even before leaving my house when Evan discovered a clump of three good sized boletes hanging out right in front of my house (I was ashamed that I had not seen them myself).  Unfortunately we were unable to positively ID these mushrooms, which had amazingly fast blue bruising flesh (usually a cautionary sign for any bolete) and so we left them for a spore print and headed toward Clemson.

We were pretty amped from our first find in my front yard and when we got to Issaqueena we were really excited to start finding the fungal fruiting bodies.  Unfortunately in our excitement we had all forgotten to grab some good bags (we usually use the grocery store “green” bags that evey place is offering these days) and had to rely on a few flimsy plastic bags to hold our finds, which was less than ideal.  It took us no time at all to start finding all sorts of mushrooms.  We found probably our most exciting find of the day, a good clump of Black Trumpets, within fifteen minutes of our foray.  Soon we had a pretty decent collection of all sorts of mushrooms going.

After about an hour or so in our initial forging area we decided to move on and possibly head back to Clemson to grab some food (we were all becoming quite hungry).  As we began to drive around the lake (there was a spot by the dam we wanted to check before going back to town) we saw an area of low land that seemed to be pretty navigable, with little undergrowth.  We decided to stop and see if there was anything worth gathering there.  Was there ever.  Over the course of the next hour or so we gathered somewhere around three to three and a half pounds of wild Chanterelles. To date the Chanterelle discovery has been our most bountiful find of edible wild mushrooms (note: we made careful sure that these were actual Chanterelles before eating any — never eat any wild mushrooms without consulting a couple good mushroom guides or an expert — if you are even slightly uncertain about the edibility of a mushroom it is better to discard it than risk poisoning).  We probably could have gathered three times as many Chanterelles but we ran out of bag space (another “damn-it why did we forget the good bags” moment), also we were getting tired and really hungry at this point.  So we called it a day and headed back to Clemson.  We are hoping to check back at Issaqueena this coming weekend, especially considering that there is suppose to be a good amount of rain this week, which is always a good thing for causing fungal blooms.

Here are some pictures:

A huge bounty . . . I am cleaning off the Chanterelles (the yellow ones on my side of the table)

A huge bounty . . . I am cleaning off the Chanterelles (the yellow ones on my side of the table)

Meg and I and all our fungal finds

Meg and I and all our fungal finds

If you think this is a lot of Chanterelles then you should consider that we probably could have gathered almost three or four times as many given more time and bag space

If you think this is a lot of Chanterelles then you should consider that we probably could have gathered almost three or four times as many given more time and bag space

Evan and I and what we would like to do with those Chanterelles (though they should always be cooked first -- we're just posing here)

Evan and I and what we would like to do with those Chanterelles (though they should always be cooked first -- we're just posing here)

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~ by Nathaniel on June 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “‘Tis the Season of Chanterelles”

  1. […] of steak (and tofu for Meg and Mad), dipped them in eggs, coated them in ground chanterelles (see here for our previous success with these delightful shrooms), and then quickly pan seared them.  The […]

  2. […] to find vast quantities of chanterelle mushrooms.  Just about a year ago Evan, Meg and I had experienced similar success in chanterelle finding, the only major difference is in the sheer quantity.  We estimate that we likely gathered over 20 […]

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