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Twelve edible mushrooms of the United States/Cantharellus cibarius

< Twelve edible mushrooms of the United States

Cantharellus cibarius, "Chantarelle"

Figure 2, illustrating a specimen of Cantharellus cibarius (from original text).

Wherever found, this species (Cantharellus cibarius) grows in great abundance. It is very popular in Europe, where in some localities the inhabitants make it their principal food. It is easily recognized by its rich color and the peculiar form of its gills. It is generally found in light woods and high situations. The pileus is lobed and irregular in shape. When young it is dome-like, the margin rolled in; as it approaches maturity the margin expands, forming an irregular wavy line,. and the center of the pileus becomes depressed. The color is orange or deep yellow, somewhat resembling that of the yolk of an egg. The stem is tough, yellow, and solid, becoming hollow in maturity. The gills, which appear like short branching veins, are thick and wide apart, and are of the same color as the pileus. The texture is smooth, the flesh yellow and deuse, and has a pleasant odor. Vittadini compares it to that of plums. It is somewhat dry and tough in character, and therefore requires slow and protracted stewing, with plenty of liquid. In selecting for culinary purposes, crisp and heavy ones should be chosen in preference to light and soft ones, as being less likely to become leathery in cooking. Some recommend soaking them in milk over night to render them tender.

Mrs. Hussey gives the following receipt:

"Cut the mushrooms across and remove the stems; put them into a closely covered saucepan, with a little fresh butter, and sweat them until tender at the lowest possible temperature. A great heat always destroys the flavor."

A deleterious species (Cantharellus aurantiaeus), often found in rank grass or decaying herbage, is of the same color, and by a careless observer might be taken for the wholesome species. A little care and attention to detail, however, will enable one to distinguish one from the other. In the Cantharellus aurantiaeus the pileus is covered with down and the veins or gills are crowded, thin, and of a much deeper color than the pileus.