Chanterelle or girole (Cantharellus cibarius)

Chanterelle are one of the fungi forager's favourite finds - delicious and beautiful they are a favourite of chefs across the country, and often seen on Masterchef.

Key identification points:-

  • Golden yellow wavy edged cap
  • 3-8cm tall, 3-10cm across the cap
  • Usually grow in tight clusters as part of a larger group
  • Wrinkled, shallow, false gills that fork near the cap edge and go part way down the stem
  • Smell fruity, especially of apricots
  • Flesh inside the cap and stem is white
  • Season - late summer to early autumn (definitely gone by the frosts)
  • Habitat - pine and deciduous woodland, usually reoccurs in the same spot every year.
Great with eggs either scrambled or in a omelette, these mushrooms can also be pickled.


False Chanterelle

At first glance False Chanterelle (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca) look very similar to the real thing - same sort of size, same sort of habitat, yellow, but a closer look will soon show the clear differences.  It has proper gills that are crowded and orange/yellow, the cap is circular, not wavy and a more orange colour.  It has no apricot smell and orange/yellow flesh on the inside of the stem and the cap.  Although it does grow in clusters it also often found growing in ones or twos.  This mushroom is definitely inedible and possibly toxic - not one to try.  It does often grow near or alongside true Chanterelles so make sure that you have correctly identified each mushroom before you eat it.

False chanterelle