Black Trumpet Mushroom

Black Trumpet Mushroom

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Early start for chanterelles...

Young chanties, 6.15.2015
I was all set to start the 2015 season with a post about the king boletes I've been finding but then I was out walking the dog yesterday and discovered these chanterelles just starting to poke though the undergrowth. Last year this same patch started fruiting on June 27th and I thought that was early. It was quite surprising, usually I wait for the beginning of July before I put on my chanty goggles and go looking.

But then this has been a crazy year of weather. Winter's record cold gave way to a warm May and a wet June. We've already had a more then a months worth of rain (4.2") and the extended forecast calls for consistent rains through the end of the month. Its all adding up to what could be a historic mushrooming season for central New York.

And now about those boletes...

Ever since my bad experience with bi-colored boletes* I've been hesitant to gather any boletes. What I do find are usually bitter boletes, a very common lookalike. This year I've been finding kings literally in my back yard. There's a small conifer forest there that has proven to be a very good spot. The only problem being the difficulty getting to them before the slugs do. For such a notoriously slow moving species its amazing how quickly they can find and devour a fresh bolete. I've seen boletes less then 2 days old already completely infested. I often collect them before they're fully grown for this reason.

The flavor is quite nice. Woodsy, rich, with a spongy dense texture. Not on par with say chanterelles or maitakes in my book but I can see the appeal. Oddly enough they are milder fresh then they are dried and rehydrated. This is a good thing. Using dried boletes can quickly overpower a dish if you're not careful.

*Reading about it just now I see that there are 2 boletes commonly referred to as bi-colored (red cap, yellow stem and pores). One is edible, one is poisonous. Both bruise blue but the edible one takes several minutes to bruise whereas the poisonous one will bruise immediately. I don't recommend you bother with them, even the edible ones are considered to be just mediocre tasting. Admire their beauty and leave them as a tasty meal for the slugs.

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