Chanterelles were already popular mushrooms in ancient times. The hat of the chanterelle has a diameter of 2 to 10 centimeters, but can also be up to 15 inches tall. The style is short. The taste is spicy and slightly peppery.
His name was also derived from this light pepper taste. They grow in Australia, America, northern Asia and throughout Europe. Chanterelles thrive from early summer to late autumn. He used to be found in all forests in Germany. Since the 70s, however, he is on the decline and is now one of the rare mushrooms in the German forests. Researchers assume that various factors play a role. On the one hand, the chanterelle reacts sensitively to any kind of air pollution, on the other hand it thrives very sensitively in case of lack of rain, sinking groundwater and interventions in the forest. Heavy machinery used by forestry workers partially destroys the forest soil and thus also endangers the fungus.
In some parts of Germany it is now classified as endangered fungus and may only be picked by private individuals for their own use. The chanterelles, which are offered in the summer in the supermarkets, are mostly from the Baltic States and Eastern European countries. Individuals can still find and harvest chanterelles in larger quantities in Sweden and Finland. In these two Nordic countries, he also plays an important role in national cuisine. The chanterelle has several subspecies, which are all edible.
But it can also be confused with the "false chanterelle", which is not related to the real chanterelle. The false chanterelle also has slats and is orange. However, the hat is uniformly round and not as varied as the hat of the real chanterelle. The false chanterelle is not poisonous, but it leads to weak stomach and intestinal complaints in larger quantities. He also lacks the intense taste of the real chanterelle.
Chanterelles are considered healthy, but also difficult to digest. According to tradition, they are good for the eyes and for the lungs. Chanterelles easily mold. In 2010, a study by the German Society of Mycology showed that 70 percent of all chanterelles offered in supermarkets were either mold-infested or rotten.
Moldy chanterelles can cause stomach and intestinal complaints and trigger allergic reactions. In addition, extensive forest areas in Austria, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia were contaminated with radioactivity in the reactor accident at Chernobyl. The readings have fallen sharply since the late 1990s, but the dreaded cesium-137 is still measurable. The values vary from year to year and are constantly reviewed. Above all, chanterelles from Belarus have been affected by inflated values since 2010. The limit is 600 becquerels per kilogram of mushrooms. If this value is exceeded, they may not be sold.
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection advises to refrain from collecting in particularly endangered areas and to buy chanterelles, because they are checked before buying. Like all mushrooms, chanterelles absorb soil toxins and may therefore be contaminated by other toxins. The mushroom picking near main roads or in city centers should therefore be avoided. Near cultivated landscapes such as vineyards or fields, they can be heavily contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides.
Chanterelles are low in calories. 100 grams of mushrooms contain only 15 calories. They are rich in magnesium, potassium, iron and protein. Especially important is their high content of vitamin D. This vitamin is important for the development of bones and muscles and is also a mood-brightener, as vitamin D promotes the production of messenger substances in the brain.
Especially in winter, many people suffer from a vitamin D deficiency. Nutrition experts advise vegans and vegetarians to often include chanterelles in the diet to increase vitamin D levels. However, due to the many environmental impacts, the amount should never exceed 250 grams per week.
Chanterelles contain purine and can cause seizures in gouty patients and kidney values in kidney patients. They also contain the cellulose chitin, which is considered to be difficult to digest. Affected persons get after the consumption of chanterelles flatulence, abdominal pain and indigestion. Some also respond to chanterelles with diarrhea.
Allergies are mainly caused by the fungi that thrive on the chanterelles, and not by the chanterelle itself. However, there is also a rare true wild mushroom allergy. The symptoms can range from hay fever to severe asthma attacks. Chanterelles should never be eaten raw. Allergic reactions and intolerances can be severely limited by the cooking process.
If possible, open chanterelles should be bought. In this way, decayed and bad mushrooms can be sorted out when shopping. Many chanterelles are offered in packaged bowls. You should choose the shell with the longest expiration date when shopping.
The chanterelles must appear dry and must under no circumstances appear to be wet or damp. After shopping you should clean chanterelles immediately and remove all the bad and bad spots, cut off and throw away. The cleaned chanterelles then keep dry and cool for a few days. They should not be wrapped in cling film. It is better to wrap it in a dry cloth. If they are heavily contaminated, they must be washed before further processing. For this purpose, they are briefly browned and dried immediately afterwards.
In principle, fungi should not come into contact with water. However, this is often the only way to cleanse small, polluted chanterelles. A trick is to turn the mushrooms into flour and then brew them.
Chanterelles taste best when seared in butter and oil at high heat. Shortly before the end of the cooking process, chopped shallots and garlic are added to the pan. The chanterelles always come first into the pan, as shallots and garlic in the hot fat can develop a bitter taste. Chanterelles are very good for freezing. The mushrooms come frozen in the pan and simmer over high heat until all the liquid has evaporated. At the end, they are then swirled in butter. The chanterelles stir-fried in the pan can then be served with an omelette or as an accompaniment to meat dishes.