Friday, March 5, 2010


A friend of mine likened chanterelles to flowers and from this photo, you can see why. Chanterelles fruited heavily this year and it was a great year for beginners to search for them. I was thrilled to find them for the first time on a foray sponsored by the Sonoma County Mycological Association in Salt Point State Park on the California coast. If you are a beginner mushroom hunter, be sure to go on as many local forays as you can. Although Salt Point State Park is amazingly beautiful and that is reason enough to go, Chanterelles and other edibles can be found right here in the East Bay. A foray is a way to make sure you understand how to identify mushrooms. It can take a few trips with a mycologist to feel secure about foraging and eating wild mushrooms. Forays give you time to get to know each edible and all its look alikes. I grew up collecting and eating wild mushrooms with my family on the East Coast but once I moved out here, I needed to learn the differences in edibles here.

Michele and I spent the past month foraging the East Bay for Chanterelles and found many pounds of mushrooms. We are busy now preparing them to last a few months by freezing and drying them. With all this rain, you may still find them out there. Chanterelles hold a lot of water, therefore; I've found they come out mushy unless I pan fry them in a little butter or olive oil until they release their water. Then I tip the pan towards the flame so the mushrooms are not sitting in the water. Reduce this water until it looks syrupy. Then add it back to the mushrooms, salt and simmer until they brown a little. They are ready to eat or add to pasta, etc. Good luck in your hunt.



  1. My husband and I are new to the East Bay and on the hunt for Chantarelles. Could you recommend certain areas?

  2. Hey, thanks for writing. Chanterelles can be found all over the East Bay Hills. Look especially for forests with mixed oaks and bays and a lot of leaf duff. They like to hide under the duff so keep a keen eye for their yellow/orange color. Also be aware you can be fined for taking mushrooms or plants from some parks. For example, Redwood regional doesn't allow picking. Also, beware of poison oak. It is usually growing near oak trees and chanterelles and is hard to identify in the winter. If you want more specifics on where to start looking, email me back at and let me know what part of the east bay you're living in. Thanks and good luck. -Daluca