Just like other fruits and vegetables, mushrooms have a season... and we're smack dab in the middle of it. To get the most out of the season's bounty, now is the time to learn a bit more about exactly which varieties of mushrooms are in season and the best ways to use them!
Chanterelle mushrooms start to become available at the end of summer. November is the perfect time for late-season chanterelles. These aromatic mushrooms keep largely the same taste throughout the season -- a taste slightly reminiscent of apricots -- though their visual aspect changes, flaring out more into a trumpet shape as the season moves forward. Simple recipes, like pasta with chanterelle mushrooms, present these beautiful fungi in the perfect light.
2. Black Chanterelle
As the chanterelle fades, the black chanterelle begins to take root. November is the beginning of the season for black chanterelles, also known as black trumpets. While these mushrooms are diminutive in comparison with others, their flavor is unparalleled, and the visual aspect of their deep color is a beautiful addition to many dishes. Start searching for them closer to the end of the month, either at markets or in the forest with a mushroom guide, and soon you'll be blessed with its delicious flavor. Try it in a black trumpet and truffle risotto, which combines the robust flavors of two delicious fungi.
3. Hedgehog Mushrooms
Hedgehog mushrooms are currently right in the heart of their peak season. These golden mushrooms are actually related to chanterelles, which isn't surprising, given their golden flavor. They are, however, more robust in texture and flavor than chanterelles, with an upright stem and a peppery flavor. While hedgehog mushrooms are an ideal variety for canning, given their ability to hold up in structure, they are also delicious when cooked fresh. Be sure to cook them all the way through, as raw hedgehog mushrooms have a slightly bitter flavor. Play with their orange color by using them in a recipe for hedgehog mushrooms with tangerines and curry.
That old adage "what grows together goes together" couldn't be more true in this case: all three of these varieites can be used interchangeably or combined for delicious, robustly flavored dishes. Try them in some of our favorite mushroom recipes:
- Braised mushrooms with herbs
- Sautéed mushroom salad
- Brussels sprouts with mushrooms
- Roasted organic wild mushrooms on pita toasts