Girolle Mushrooms (Cantharellus cibarius) Identification

Girolle/Summer/Autumn/Edible

Scientific Name

Cantharellus cibarius


Common Names

Girolle, Chanterelle


Family

Cantharellaceae


Habitat

A fairly common mushroom, most often found growing with beech or birch and quite often in mossy areas.


Description

An easy to identify and delicious mushroom, much in demand from chefs worldwide.


Identifying Features:

Cap:

Björn S…, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Irregular in shape. When young they are almost flat becoming more depressed with age, until almost trumpet shaped. Yellow with white flesh.


Stem:

Gunnar Creutz, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The same colour as the cap, solid, tapering towards the base.


Gills:

Japonica, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Does not have true gills, they are more like folds or ridges. One of my guides describes them as being like combed plasticine which is a good description. The gills run part way down the stem.


Smell:

Sweet, fruity almost like apricots.


Spores:

Light brown/yellow.


Uses

In food

Игорь Лебединский, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

A true gourmet mushroom, they work well in any dish. Quickly fried in butter and served on toast is my favourite way to eat them.


Harvesting

They are quite a slow growing mushroom taking up to three weeks to reach a harvestable size. I tend to cover the smaller ones with dry leaves to hide them and revisit the site in a couple of weeks’ time.


Known hazards

None known.


Potential lookalikes

Its most common look-a-like is the false chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis Aurantiaca) but this has orange flesh when cut in half. This mushroom was said to be edible in some older books but there are also reports of it causing hallucinations and gastrointestinal problems so it’s best avoided.
The Jack ‘O’ Lantern (Omphalotus Olearius) does look similar but this mushroom is much more orange in colour has true gills and is very rare.

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