Since we are weekly visitors to our local farmers’ market here in Berlin, it’s not difficult to see the seasons (and the foods) changing right before you eyes. And one of the more exciting things that floods the market are chanterelle mushrooms (known asPfifferling here in Germany), which begin arriving during late summer to early fall. Mackenzie also likes this time of year, because that’s when the majority of the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries also are hitting the market! 😉
These tasty mushrooms are really easy to cook with, and one of the most common dishes you will find which includes a healthy portion of them is a simple pasta dish with a cream sauce and fresh parsley. The parsley is such standard fair with chanterelles that you’ll often even get it for free, just because you bought the mushrooms. They go together like lamb and tuna fish…wait, no. I meant spaghetti and meatballs. (I have not watched Big Daddy lately but really need too! lol)
Although you can find chaterelle pasta being served up all over the place, you’re also going to end up paying €12 or more for a very simple dish that only takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare and costs just a few bucks. So before you think about shelling out a bunch of money to enjoy fresh mushrooms, think about just making it yourself. Who knows, you might even be able to go out and harvest your own fresh chanterelle mushrooms nearby.
What to look for when buying Chanterelles
Like with any mushroom, you want them fresh and flavorful, not lifeless and gray. So here are a few tips to keep in mind when you go to buy chanterelles at your local market.
- Look for a golden or apricot-like color. If there are gray or decaying parts, keep moving.
- Do a smell test. They should smell sweet, a bit like a peach or apricot.
- How do they feel? If they are slimy you don’t want them. They should feel dry and slightly spongy but not hard.
- The gills underneath should be long lines with no fragmenting.
Don’t bother buying dried chanterelle mushrooms. They maintain little to no flavor often turn out rubbery when you bring them back to life.