As the Summer heat swealters I’ve noticed of all the chanterelle species, these Cinnabar Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cinnibarinus) have been the most persistent fruiting bodies!
Typically Chanterelles come out around the beginning of summer, depending on the region you’re foraging. As with all mushrooms, they love a good series of rain storms, but as the heat comes to a peak toward the end of the summer they begin to fizzle out as Boletes and Amanitas stake their claim on the forest floor. To this day I’m still finding some beautiful chanterelles of all species but with a more keen eye and in less quantities. BUT, like I said, these Cinnabar Chanterelles don’t quit!
I’ve also found that as Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius), Smooth Chanterelles (Cantharellus Lateritius), and Appalachian Chanterelles (Cantharellus Appalachiensis) tend to spread across different regions of the forests during the season, these Cinnabar Chanterelles like to stand their ground and reproduce right where they started when the season began. Though they’re small in stature they continue to fruit in great numbers throughout the entirety of the season. Their sweet flavor will have you coming back for more, and luckily, they’ll be there!
Suggested Cinnabar Chanterelle Recipe:
Summer Pesto Pasta with Chanterelle Mushrooms
This dish is the perfect mix of sweet and savory!
DISCLAIMER: *As with all wild foraged edible mushrooms, be sure to have a 100% positive ID before consuming & be sure to always cook your mushrooms throughly, sautéing them for at least 10 minutes on medium heat before consuming. Never consume wild edible mushrooms raw.*
What you’ll need:
~2 cups Foraged Chanterelle mushrooms, 2 table spoons butter, 2 cloves garlic, pesto, grape tomatoes, pasta of your choice
*optional +sriracha, + parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast to keep it vegan)
1. Clean your chanterelle mushrooms - either blow off dirt, wipe off dirt with a damp cloth, or if they’re too dirty, rinse them & if this step is necessary - be sure to take this extra step before proceeding:
If Chanterelles have been wet or submerged in water, be sure to saute without fat (butter/oil) to allow the water to steam out of the mushrooms BEFORE you move on to step 3.
2. Boil salted water for your pasta of choice.
3. Saute your chanterelle mushrooms in a medium pan (cast iron preferred) on a medium heat, adding butter + garlic, stirring here & there for at least 10 minutes. Add sliced grape tomatoes after mushrooms are thoroughly cooked.
4. Add pasta to water and cook for 6-8 minutes - strain.
5. Add cooked pasta to veggie pan and add preferred amount of pesto sauce. Stir & add any additional toppings before serving.
Tamril looked up at the night sky, a contemplative look on his face. It had been a month since his sister left him with a friend, and even though he wasn’t allowed out during the day, due to how others would perceive him, once it was late enough, he could go out, and explore.
Cecelia, the friend he was left with, owned a quaint home on the outskirts of a desert town. She stood on the porch, watching, and her partner, Iva, sat in a chair, reading. Tamril knew the consequences of being caught in a human-only town. So he listened to what his two current protectors told him.
He knew enough of the fearful looks humans gave him to know that he would never truly be accepted by them. And even though Cecelia and Iva were nice, he knew it was rough on them, having to look after him.
He sighed, and lay down on the soil, looking up at the stars. His sister had taught him a lot about the stars, of the constellations, and how the gods watched over them through them. That family and friends turned into them when they passed on. He remembered a time when he thought he might try to use his powers to make it to the heavens, to the outer planes that held his parents, and how he quickly learned it wasn’t possible, even if he was the most talented shadow user in the city he grew up in.
Being a demon was hard in a human-run world. Demons were vastly outnumbered, and with the surge of humans becoming what people called “demon-touched”, and gaining the abilities of demons, it was rough to really get an upper hand. Though in truth, Tamril didn’t want that upper hand. He didn’t like the wars that raged in countries over whether demons should have rights. He just wanted everyone to live together. In peace. A part of him knew that wasn’t possible.
Especially with how demented he looked. The grey skin. The big pointy ears. The inverted golden eyes. His pointy teeth. He knew people feared him. His type of demon was the most hated, for a lot of reasons. From the ability to disappear into the plain of shadows, to the ability to see souls, he knew why people were afraid to even come near him. He reeked of death.
He closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. A part of him found it weird though, how humans hated demons, even though they held some power of the gods everyone believed in. He opened his eyes, sitting up, and looked towards the house, at Cecelia and Iva. Both were demon-touched. Both held some form of power. Why do humans find demons to be horrible creatures, while some of them hold the same power?
He got up, walking towards the house. “Everything okay, Tamril?” Cecelia asked from the porch, forcing a tired smile towards the young demon.
“Everything’s fine,” he responded. “Just hungry.” He smiled back, looking at the woman’s soul. It was a light blue, and somewhat resembled a jellyfish. Tamril knew that each tentacle of the soul was a hard experience that a person had gone through. And though most people didn’t have many, Cecelia and Iva had more than the average person. If it wasn’t rude, he would reach out and grab one of the tentacles-- that way he could get an inkling into what they had gone through.
He walked past the two women and into the house. It was a decent size, with an open ground floor, and loft. Cecelia was an herbalist, so plants covered almost every surface. It was amazing to see plants from all around the world, though Tamril didn’t know how she had gotten all of them.
Before he could ponder any more on all the things rushing through his mind, from the bad to the good, he was snapped out of it. “Can I make you anything?” Cecelia asked, walking in after him, “How about some pancakes?” He nodded, turning to look at her for a moment.
“That sounds good.” He looked down at his feet, which were bare, and shuffled awkwardly. He didn’t want to be a burden, but he was also still growing used to electricity, and stoves. He had been raised by his sister, in a city, but since the city was meant as a demon sanctuary, it didn’t have all the things humans had.
“Why don’t you take a seat at the table while I make you some then? I have some things to talk about with you.” Cecelia ruffled his hair, smiling down at him. He hated being treated like a kid, but he also knew he was young, and that he wasn’t the well...brightest when it came to some things, so this is how he’d be treated until he could prove himself.
Oh, how he wanted to prove himself.
Nodding again, he did as he was told, making his way to the table and sitting down. He played with the leaves of the plant before him, not wanting to know what Cecelia had to say. Especially since Iva hadn’t come in. Meaning it was probably serious.
Cecelia made her way to the kitchen, and took out all the needed supplies for pancakes. “How have you enjoyed your stay here?” she asked, beginning to mix ingredients together.
“It’s been fun!” Tamril lied, shooting an innocent smile towards her. He’d been bored, locked up in the house all day. He had nothing to entertain him, seeing as the only thing this house held other than the occupants were plants and books. Plants didn’t talk. And Tamril couldn’t read.
He heard Cecelia sigh.
“You don’t need to lie to me, Tami,” she started. “I know how hard this past month has been on you.”
“It hasn’t been - “ Cecelia cut him off.
“That’s why I’ve asked a friend to take you in.” He felt something break. He was frozen, staring at the back of Cecelia’s head as she continued to cook and talk. “I’ll inform your sister when she comes back, but at the moment, you leaving would be the best option for you. You could go out during the day, you could get a proper education. My friend...their family owns well...a lot. A school included. You could...make friends. It’d be nice and it’d be healthy.”
Healthy? Who cared about what was healthy for him? He took a shaky breath, and nodded, but quickly realized she couldn’t see that.
“Sounds fun!” He forced himself to act childish, to not make her feel bad for practically throwing him out and into becoming someone else’s problem.
“They’ll be here in the morning.” She plated a pancake, and made her way over to the table, placing it before Tamril. “And Tamril?” she smiled sadly down at him, “Don’t be afraid to be yourself.”
He didn’t know what that meant.