For me, the arrival of Summer kicks off a long parade of culinary delights. Anticipation begins with the unfurling of fiddleheads in May. The following months are a delectable tumble of fragrant herbs, ripe berries, spicy chilis and fresh vegetables. The season culminates in a frenzy of preserving⎯drying, freezing and canning. But it is late summer, when the temperatures soar and the palette is alive with a thousand fresh flavours, that offers the greatest pleasure of all.
m S o d k o o W i ne e W & M ; ce with n a m y Su o t R mmer Ch l e a n t er egg t Ho e r a g r by Ma
scrambled in wood smoke and wine” (Root 274). For a less poetic and more botanic description, take a look at a field guide and pay careful attention to the gills. There is one other All year long I look forward to the annual mushroom formushroom variety that resembles it - the Jack-oage on the island where my mother lives with her husband. This island is a forager’s paradise: healthy wild spaces stew- Lantern. However, the gills of the chanterelle arded by a respectful community. Foragers here respect the are unmistakably unique, “forked and connected with small veins, giving the appearland, the animals and each other. ance of a network” (Gibbons, 145). Once the two cousins are pointed out to you, I love paying homage to a single ingredient - in this case the you are unlikely to confuse them. delectable chantarelle mushroom. And there is no better tribute than to harvest it from the wild and cook it fresh. Perhaps now is a good time to mention that foraging has its perils. Eating a Wild mushrooms put cultivated fungi to shame. When wrongly identified mushroom can be cultivated mushrooms arrived in Paris, Honoré de a lethal mistake, so it is important to Balzac revolted against “the insipid creature born in the stick to easily identifiable varieties undark and incubated by humidity. I have had enough of til you have more experience. Your first it...I forbid it to usurp the place of the chantarelle or the time out, you may want to invite sometruffle; and I command it...never to cross the threshold one along who knows a thing or two. of my kitchen” (Root, 275). Perhaps this is a bit unfair, My mom’s husband is a seasoned forbut I think he was on to something. ager and joined us on a few trips, teaching us a lot along the way. We also always The chantarelle is an easy forage for beginners. I first carry a field guide so we can try to identify came across this delicacy in the cedar woods sursome of the more mysterious mushrooms rounding a lake on Vancouver Island. I heated we come across, from bright red toadstools butter in a pan over my fire, tossed in some to ominous, wispy, black fungi. Other good mushrooms, boiled some gnocci and ate things to bring along are plastic or cloth it ceremoniously while ravens eyed my bags; pocket knives with clean, sharp blades; picnic table. long sleeved shirts & pants (bugs tend to enjoy the same environment as mushrooms); The Latin name for this golden waterproof footwear; and a sense of advenbeauty is Cantharellus cibarius, or, ture. The last two items come in handy when as Balzac would have called it, girolle in you’re on one side of a river and an enticFrench. As Tom Robbin’s aptly describes ing glade of orange chantarelle are on it, the chantarelle “looks like a ruffled the other. yellow trumpet, smells like apricots, has the consistency of chicken and tastes like eggs
The Sandpiper is the digital newsletter produced by the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada.