Chanterelle Mushrooms

Cantharellus spp.

Cantharellus cibariu

(there are 8 Chanterelle species here in our region; all are edible)

Chanterelles are like the forager’s “pot of gold.”  These bright yellow-orange mushrooms stand out against the drab forest floor where they are found and are quite delicious.  Forming mycorrhizal associations with trees, chanterelles pop up beneath those trees whose roots they are collaborating with.  Most chanterelles are somewhat funnel-shaped, with variation among different species.  

Many kinds of chanterelles are fairly easy to identify, but they do have several look-alikes, including poisonous ones.  We always recommend learning about edible mushrooms in North Carolina with seasoned guides and teachers until you feel comfortable distinguishing them.   

Chanterelles aren’t considered a medicinal, but like all mushrooms, they are nutrient-dense and nourishing.  With high levels of B vitamins and iron, especially for a non-animal food, chanterelles are as healthy as they are delicious.  

Favorite Chanterelle Preparations

  • Alone with butter or olive oil and salt
  • Stir-fried and added to creamy sauces
  • With butternut squash, strong cheeses, great ravioli filling!
  • Fried with shallots atop grilled venison
  • Strong, meaty flavor and tender texture, very versatile and delicious