America has a firm foothold in what used to be an exclusively European market, the delectable Chanterelle mushroom. Oregon and Washington states are the sources of almost all American chanterelles, which are classified as Cantherellus formosa, meaning “beautiful.” There is no end to their versatility and their subtle flavor is best used in simple preparations. It’s a great sautéing mushroom, but is also fabulous roasted, or grilled. Dried chanterelles are ideal for infusing into vodka, stocks, and sauces. Be sure to try Dried Morels from Wineforest Wild Foods as well.
Rehydrating Directions: Place the dried mushrooms in warm water for at least 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the mushroom. Be sure that your bowl is deep enough so that any debris from the Chanterelles will fall to the bottom and the rehydrated mushrooms will float in clear water at the top. When the mushrooms are soft and pliable, gently lift the mushrooms out of the water.
Don’t throw away the mushroom water. Strain it through a fine sieve or coffee filter and use it to flavor stock or sauce.
About the Producer: Since 1979, Napa, California forager and Wineforest founder Connie Green has been selling mushrooms and other found foods to leading Bay Area chefs. When she first brought her foraged chanterelles into San Francisco’s finest French restaurant, she was met with disbelief. The chef doubted they grew in the US. It was the Mexican dishwashers, who had a heritage of wild mushroom hunting, that helped her soldier on and eventually the chef came on board. Wineforest grew from there and continues to pick only the best mushrooms, passing poorer quality one often used for the bulk market.