Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius)

One of the most beautiful wild mushrooms to find is the chanterelle. Its scientific name is Cantharellus cibarius. It is also known by other common names like zizahori and rossinyol. It is widely used in the kitchen for its versatility when preparing great dishes with a great flavor. Its color stands out for being yellow and it can be easily seen among the green of the grass. It is unlikely to be attacked by larvae and insects, so this mushroom is kept in good condition.

If you want to know more about the characteristics of Cantharellus cibarius and its properties, this is your post

Main features

Although the scientific name is Cantharellus cibarius, it is better known by the name of chanterelle. It is the same with the rebollones. In almost all areas of the peninsula you can meet people who call them chanterelles. It belongs to the class of Basidiomycetes. It is an edible mushroom quite easy to recognize and with which you can make dishes with great flavor. For gastronomy, the variety that can be made is a delicacy.

If you’ve gone mushroom picking and seen a chanterelle, you’ll probably never be confused again. Its typical shape and color are the two main characteristics that visually differentiate this species from the rest. It has a very representative foot. Normally all mushrooms have rings, but this species does not. It is small and massive. Its thickness is less at the base than the rest, which is also usually different. As they reach the sheets, it grows in width.

As for the hat, it has raised edges as if it were a funnel in adult stage. It reaches an altitude of more than 12 cm in the largest adult specimens. The most normal thing is that it is smaller. Its color is intense yellow and it has a separable and dry cuticle. Its margin is lobed and the beginning is quite flat. The hat has a great variety of shades that depends entirely on the type of land where it grows. These conditions are due to the type of soil, pH, amount of nutrients and/ or humidity. It can vary from the whitest to the most orange tones, passing through all shades of yellow.

In the hat you can see folds instead of sheets, which makes it characteristic with respect to other more common species of mushrooms. The pleats are quite thick and keep the same color as the hat. Its meat is quite thick and consistent, something that leaves to be desired in other species. It is usually whitish in color and with yellow tones around the edges.

Natural habitat

The Cantharellus cibarius requires some soils with unique characteristics. For example, you need a siliceous substrate with a mostly acidic pH. As for the type of soil, you can find it in granite, slate, quartzite and sandstone.

It is a type of fungus that is associated with other plant species to live in community. It is usually found looking through the litter. The most common points of its natural habitat are usually beech, deciduous forests, holm oaks, oak groves and chestnut groves. Although not as common, it can also be found near rockrose and ferns.

Regarding their area of ​​distribution, they are distributed throughout the peninsula from Cádiz to the Pyrenees. There are areas where it is more abundant than others. It is possibly the most consumed and commercialized wild mushroom.

Chanterelle season begins in late spring and early summer. Its beginning depends entirely on the rains that have occurred in the previous months. If it has rained in greater quantity, they will be able to grow earlier. If the year is quite rainy, we may find chanterelles growing well into winter.

They need a lot of humidity to be able to grow, so it depends a lot on the rains. The quality of the same also derives from the rains. They have an internal hydration system that allows them to remain very healthy once they have grown, even if the conditions are dry or low rainfall. It can survive for several days without any humidity and with high temperatures.

Once they begin to develop, they do so in a very abundant and regular way, choosing the same space as in previous years. Therefore, it is quite useful to write down the areas where you have collected it because, most likely, the following year you will find them there.

Confusions of the Cantharellus cibarius

As we have mentioned before, it is a fairly easy to identify fungus. It is not very common that it can be confused with a poisonous mushroom. It is normal to think that, with that strong yellow tone, it has the appearance of a toxic mushroom. However, it is rare that there is confusion.

There are some confusions with this type of mushroom but they are not of intoxication, but more of a culinary nature. There is a species known as the false chanterelle and it is Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca. It is a small mushroom that also has a yellow color and grows among pine forests. It is not toxic, but has a worse culinary value than chanterelle. To be able to differentiate them, you just have to look at the sheets that the false chanterelle has and see that the real chanterelle has folds.

Another confusion they can have is with a variety of cantharellus such as C. tubaeformis. It is a confusion that will not pose almost any problem, since it also has gastronomic quality. Do not be afraid that it is poisonous. To differentiate them we have to note that this variety has a more grayish, elongated and fine tone. In addition, his hat has a somewhat different and darker tone.

Whatever the type of confusion, it is not usual for us to pick a poisonous mushroom instead of the chanterelle. We will only have some gastronomic problems and our dishes will not have the same flavor.

The one that does resemble the chanterelle and is toxic is the olive tree mushroom. But as its name suggests, it is associated with the olive tree. The chanterelle will never be near olive trees, so we will not confuse it.

I hope this information helps you to enjoy the Cantharellus cibarius and its collection.

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