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Overview

Comprehensive Description

The chanterelle Cantharellus cibarius is widely viewed as among the most desirable of edible mushrooms. It is found singly, scattered, in groups, or sometimes clustered on the ground in woods. Its flesh is thick, firm, and white, with an odor that may be fragrant like apricots (or not distinctive) and a taste that may be peppery (or not distinctive). (Bessette et al. 1997) Cantharellus cibarius has been reported from North America, Europe, North Africa, the Himalayas, and Thailand, but there is considerable evidence that this nominal species actually includes multiple distinct cryptic species (see Taxonomy and Systematics section below). (Feibelman et al. 1997; Pilz et al. 2003)

Members of the Cantharellus cibarius complex occur throughout the north temperate zone. In northern California and the Pacific Northwest they grow mainly with conifers, but along the Central California coast, they are often associated with live oaks, especially at pasture edges. On the west coast of the Unites States these mushrooms appear in cool weather and are often large and thick-stemmed (half kilo specimens are not uncommon), with an orange cap, faintly fruity odor, and pale, copiously veined gills (although a smaller, slimmer, cleaner form grows under Sitka Spruce). In eastern North America they are most common in the summer and are usually much smaller (caps typically 3 to 6 cm across) and often yellower, with a slender, well developed stalk and little or no odor. A number of other fungi, including several Cantharellus species and some poisonous species, can be confused with C. cibarius. (Arora 1986)

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Distribution

According to Pilz et al. (2003), Cantharellus cibarius is found in North America, Europe, North Africa, the Himalayas, and Thailand. They note, however, that future research may reveal that this nominal species actually includes multiple cryptic species in these different regions (see Taxonomy and Systematics section below).

In North America, C. cibarius is encountered from June to September in the southeast, from July to August in the northeast, from September to November in the northwest, and from November to February in California. (Lincoff 1981)

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Physical Description

Morphology

Cantharellus cibarius is a medium to large mushroom with a flaring funnel shape. Its wavy-edged cap is bright yellow to orange, bald, and usually flat when young and domed when mature. The gills are well spaced, shallow, blunt-edged, and fairly thick, often with connecting veins in between. The forked, thick-edged gills are the same color as the cap or paler, running down the stalk. The stalk is colored like the cap (or slightly paler) and is solid (not hollow). The flesh is white or slightly tinged yellow. The odor is usually fruity (like pumpkin or apricot), but sometimes mild; taste is mild to peppery. No veil, ring, or volva are present. Spores are yellowish. Some similar species are poisonous. (Lincoff 1981; Arora 1991)

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Ecology

Habitat

Cantharellus cibarius grows on the ground under oaks or conifers, with numbers ranging from just a few to many at a site (Lincoff 1981).

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Associations

Plant / associate
basidiome of Cantharellus cibarius is associated with Betula

Plant / associate
basidiome of Cantharellus cibarius is associated with Fagus

Plant / associate
basidiome of Cantharellus cibarius is associated with Quercus

Plant / associate
basidiome of Cantharellus cibarius is associated with Pinopsida
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Fungus / saprobe
fruitbody of Entoloma parasiticum is saprobic on dying fruitbody of Cantharellus cibarius

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Like many other fungi, chanterelles form associations known as mycorrhizae with the roots of particular tree species (this is one factor that has made chanterelle cultivation challenging).

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Systematics and Taxonomy

As has been the case for many fungi, especially species with apparently very broad geographic distributions and varied habitat associations, recent research has revealed that mushrooms going by the name Cantharellus cibarius do not, in fact, belong to a single species. Molecular genetic studies (in combination with traditional morphological, chemical, and ecological analysis), have led to the recognition of several "cryptic" species, some of them long suspected by mycologists and serious mushroom foragers but rigorously documented by professional mycologists beginning only around the end of the 20th century.

Until recently, morphologically similar yellow chanterelles throughout North America were treated as conspecific with each other and with the European yellow chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius). However, throughout the twentieth century, mycologists have noted that yellow chanterelles found in North America not only are morphologically distinct from European species, but also exhibit variation at regional scales across North America (Redhead et al. 1997 and references therein; Dunham et al. 2003 and references therein). Feibelman et al. (1994) found that North American chanterelles with C. cibarius-like morphology exhibit significant length variability in the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (nrDNA ITS), suggesting that this general morphology might mask a species complex (although variable ITS length can be present within a single species and, conversely, reproductively isolated species can show low variability in ITS regions, Dunham et al. 2003 and references therein). Feibelman et al. (1997) noted that regional morphological differences suggest that C. cibarius is a species complex. Redhead et al. (1997) used morphological and genetic data to identify the yellow chanterelle most frequently harvested from the North American Pacific Northwest forests as C. formosus, a species once thought to be rare in the region. Dunham et al. (2003) analyzed ITS and microsatellite data from C. cibarius complex samples from the west coast of the United States as well as from Europe. Based on their results, they distinguished an additional new species, C. cascadensis.

The prominent golden chanterelle of California's oak woodlands was recognized as a new species, Cantharellus californicus, by Arora and Dunham (2008) (the authors note that this is the largest Cantharellus species in the world, with individual sporocarps commonly weighing 1/2 kilogram or more when mature). Arora and Dunham also discuss the commercial harvest of this species and compare its ectomycorrhizal host associations with other Cantharellus in California. Preliminary data suggest that putative C. cibarius from eastern North America may include cryptic species as well (Dunham et al. 2003 and references therein). Available data suggest that some North American chanterelles are indeed best treated as varieties of a single species, C. cibarius, with both Old World and New World representatives. However, it is possible that additional sampling and analysis may lead researchers to conclude that true C. cibarius (i.e., mushrooms conspecific with C. cibarius from Europe, where it was originally described) in fact do not occur in North America, although closely related species clearly do.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

Many chanterelles are picked and processed in the Pacific Northwest of North America and exported to Europe. Chanterelles are one of the top three commercially harvested and exported edible wild mushroom crops in western North America (the others being morels [Morchella spp.] and matsutake [Tricholoma magnivelare]), with a value of millions of dollars. (Redhead et al. 1997) After many years of unsuccessful efforts to cultivate chanterelles, Danell and Camacho (1997) reported some early success, but more than a decade later cultivation techniques are still under development.

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Wikipedia

Chanterelle

For the Haitian village, see Chanterelle, Les Anglais, Haiti.
Cantharellus cibarius
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
ridges on hymenium
cap is infundibuliform
hymenium is decurrent
stipe is bare

spore print is yellow

to cream
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: choice
Chanterelle mushrooms, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy160 kJ (38 kcal)
6.86 g
Sugars1.16 g
Dietary fiber3.8 g
0.53 g
1.49 g
Vitamins
Riboflavin (B2)
(18%)
0.215 mg
Niacin (B3)
(27%)
4.085 mg
(22%)
1.075 mg
Vitamin B6
(3%)
0.044 mg
Vitamin D
(35%)
5.3 μg
Trace metals
Calcium
(2%)
15 mg
Iron
(27%)
3.47 mg
Magnesium
(4%)
13 mg
Manganese
(14%)
0.286 mg
Phosphorus
(8%)
57 mg
Potassium
(11%)
506 mg
Sodium
(1%)
9 mg
Zinc
(7%)
0.71 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Cantharellus cibarius, commonly known as the chanterelle, golden chanterelle or girolle, is a fungus. It is probably the best known species of the genus Cantharellus, if not the entire family of Cantharellaceae. It is orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped. On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap. It emits a fruity aroma, reminiscent of apricots and a mildly peppery taste (hence its German name, Pfifferling) and is considered an excellent edible mushroom.

Distribution[edit]

A basket of freshly cut chanterelles

Chanterelles are common in northern parts of Europe, North America, including Mexico, in Asia including the Himalayas,[2] and in Africa including Zambia.[3] Chanterelles tend to grow in clusters in mossy coniferous forests, but are also often found in mountainous birch forests and among grasses and low-growing herbs. In central Europe, including Ukraine, the golden chanterelle is often found in beech forests among similar species and forms.[4]

At one time, all yellow or golden chanterelles in western North America had been classified as C. cibarius. However, using DNA analysis, they have since been shown to be a group of related species. In 1997, the Pacific golden chanterelle (C. formosus) and C. cibarius var. roseocanus were identified,[5] followed by C. cascadensis in 2003[6] and C. californicus in 2008.[7] C. cibarius var. roseocanus occurs in the Pacific Northwest in Sitka spruce forests,[5] as well as Eastern Canada in association with Pinus banksiana.[8]

Biochemistry[edit]

Chanterelles are relatively high in vitamin C (0.4 mg/g fresh weight),[9] very high in potassium (about 0.5%, fresh weight),[10] and among the richest sources of vitamin D known, with ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as high as 212 IU/100 grams fresh weight.[10] Scientific research has suggested that the golden chanterelle may have potent insecticidal properties that are harmless to humans and yet protect the mushroom body against insects and other potentially harmful organisms.[11]

Culinary use[edit]

Chanterelles to cook

Though records of chanterelles being eaten date back to the 1500s, they first gained widespread recognition as a culinary delicacy with the spreading influence of French cuisine in the 1700s, where they began appearing in palace kitchens. For many years, they remained notable for being served at the tables of nobility. Nowadays, the usage of chanterelles in the kitchen is common throughout Europe and North America. In 1836, the Swedish mycologist Elias Fries considered the chanterelle "as one of the most important and best edible mushrooms."[4]

Chanterelles as a group are generally described as being rich in flavor, with a distinctive taste and aroma difficult to characterize. Some species have a fruity odor, others a more woody, earthy fragrance, and still others can even be considered spicy. The golden chanterelle is perhaps the most sought-after and flavorful chanterelle, and many chefs consider it on the same short list of gourmet fungi as truffles and morels. It therefore tends to command a high price in both restaurants and specialty stores.[12]

There are many ways to cook chanterelles. Most of the flavorful compounds in chanterelles are fat-soluble, making them good mushrooms to sauté in butter, oil or cream. They also contain smaller amounts of water- and alcohol-soluble flavorings, which lend the mushrooms well to recipes involving wine or other cooking alcohols. Many popular methods of cooking chanterelles include them in sautés, soufflés, cream sauces, and soups. They are not typically eaten raw, as their rich and complex flavor is best released when cooked.[4]

Chanterelles are also well-suited for drying, and tend to maintain their aroma and consistency quite well.[4] Some chefs profess that reconstituted chanterelles are actually superior in flavor to fresh ones, though they lose in texture whatever they gain in flavor by becoming more chewy after being preserved by drying.[12] Dried chanterelles can also be crushed into flour and used in seasoning in soups or sauces. Chanterelles are also suitable for freezing, though older frozen chanterelles can often develop a slightly bitter taste after thawing.[4]

In the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, it is known as Sisi Shamu and is generally picked from the forests. During the season, it is cooked with cheese and chillies or cooked with meat.

Similar species[edit]

C. cibarius var. pallens

The false chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca) has a similar appearance and can be confused with the chanterelle. Distinguishing factors are color (the true chanterelle is uniform egg-yellow, while the false one is more orange in hue and graded, with darker center) and attachment of gills to the stem (the true chanterelle has ridges or wrinkles, which can be quite deep, but not true gills). Though once thought to be hazardous, it is now known that the false chanterelle is edible but not especially tasty, and ingesting it may result in mild gastrointestinal distress.[4][12] The poisonous species in the genus Omphalotus (the jack-o'-lantern mushrooms) have been misidentified as chanterelles, but can usually be distinguished by their well-developed unforked gills. Omphalotus is not closely related to chanterelles. Other species in the closely related genera Cantharellus and Craterellus may appear similar to the golden chanterelle.[12]

Cantharellus pallens has sometimes been defined as a species in its own right,[13] but it is normally considered to be just a variety (C. cibarius var. pallens).[14] Unlike "true" C. cibarius it yellows and then reddens when touched and has a weaker smell. Eyssartier and Roux classify it as a separate species but say that 90% of the chanterelles sold in French markets are this, not C. cibarius.[13]

Similarly Cantharellus alborufescens, which is very pale, reddens easily, and is found in mediterranean areas, is sometimes distinguished as a separate variety or a separate species.[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cantharellus cibarius Fr. 1821". MycoBank. International Mycological Association. 
  2. ^ Dar GH, Bhagat RC, Khan MA. (2002). Biodiversity of the Kashmir Himalaya. Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. ISBN 978-81-261-1117-6. 
  3. ^ Boa ER. (2004). Wild Edible Fungi: A Global Overview Of Their Use And Importance To People (Non-Wood Forest Products). Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN. ISBN 92-5-105157-7. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Persson O. (1997). The Chanterelle Book. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-89815-947-4. 
  5. ^ a b Redhead SA, Norvell LL, Danell E. (1997). "Cantharellus formosus and the Pacific Golden Chanterelle harvest in Western North America". Mycotaxon 65: 285–322. 
  6. ^ Dunham SM, O’Dell TE, Molina R. (2003). "Analysis of nrDNA sequences and microsatellite allele frequencies reveals a cryptic chanterelle species Cantharellus cascadensis sp. nov. from the American Pacific Northwest". Mycological Research 107 (10): 1163–77. 
  7. ^ Arora D, Dunham SM. (2008). "A new, commercially valuable chanterelle species, Cantharellus californicus sp. nov., associated with live oak in California, USA". Economic Botany 62 (3): 376–91. 
  8. ^ Rochon, Caroline; Paré, David; Pélardy, Nellia; Khasa, Damase P.; Fortin, J. André (2011). "Ecology and productivity of Cantharellus cibarius var. roseocanus in two eastern Canadian jack pine stands". Botany 89 (10): 663–675. doi:10.1139/b11-058. 
  9. ^ Barros L, Venturini BA, Baptista P, Estevinho LM, Ferreira ICFR. (2008). "Chemical composition and biological properties of Portuguese wild mushrooms: a comprehensive study". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56 (10): 3856–62. doi:10.1021/jf8003114. PMID 18435539. 
  10. ^ a b USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2974?qlookup=chanterelle, accessed 28/2/2013
  11. ^ Cieniecka-Rosłonkiewicz A, Sas A, Przybysz E, Morytz B, Syguda A, Pernak J. (2007). "Ionic liquids for the production of insecticidal and microbicidal extracts of the fungus Cantharellus cibarius". Chemistry & Biodiversity 4 (9): 2218–24. doi:10.1002/cbdv.200790179. PMID 17886840. 
  12. ^ a b c d Fischer DH, Bessette A. (1992). Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America: a Field-to-Kitchen Guide. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-72080-7. 
  13. ^ a b c Gillaume Eyssartier, Pierre Roux (2013). Le Guide des Champignons France et Europe (in French). Paris, France: Belin. pp. 586–590. ISBN 978-2-7011-8289-6.  Also available in English.
  14. ^ a b The entry for C. cibarius in Species Fungorum indicates that C. pallens and C. alborufescens are synonyms of C. cibarius, but have also been defined as varieties or separate species.
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