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29 responses to “Yellowfoot Chanterelles, My Secret Ingredient”

  1. Ray T. Masterson

    Nice article, thanks. Where do you get the wax bags you mention?

  2. Nancy

    Great Post! Enjoyed your writing and descriptions. Such pretty little yellow foots! Remember finding them with you this past October on Cape Ann! Will definitely look in same place this October! Enjoy!

  3. Rebecca

    I so enjoyed reading this… mushroom fever has definitely hit. I keep striking out down here and its mighty frustrating.

  4. Zach

    This may push me over the edge. Never gathered a mushroom even though I grew up in Santa Cruz! This sounds abundant, identifiable, and tasty. Perfect for a first time mushroom hunter. Thank you.

  5. Sarah G

    Loved your story. I am determined to forage for mushrooms this spring/summer/fall. It is likely a long drive from here to Cypress Hills because most of the local land is very dry. Can you recommend a good book for a neophyte mushroom hunter?

  6. David Eger

    Finding loads here on the Oregon coast near Newport. What a great winter mushroom!

  7. debbie viess

    Hey Hank,
    Well, there goes the neighborhood! Usta be these tasty little shrooms were ignored by the majority of Salt Point pot-hunters, but maybe not so much anymore!

    Yellow feet are indeed delicious and with a great texture, and they will rehydrate just like fresh! My husband David makes a fabulous dish with these, in a marsala sauce over grilled scallops. Yum!

    These mushrooms are also unusual in that they can often be found growing on wood: well-rotted wood. They also like nice wet zones for fruiting.

    Perhaps they, like some of the more primitive amanita species, have retained the ability to break down wood like a saprobe? All we need is a lab and someone willing to do the enzyme assays to prove or disprove this theory!

    But enough intellectualizing. Guess it’s about time to head up the coast meself.

    Debbie Viess

    ps you mean all of the cops in camo in our woods are actually looking for pot growers? that’s a relief. I thought that they were there to bust mushroom hunters over their limit. it’s way safer for them to just concentrate on fungal scofflaws, though, which may be why the majority of “busts” along the coast seem to be mushroom not pot related. Pocket knife vs AR15? No contest.

    I have NEVER seen evidence of a grow site at SP, have you? Pig sign, human sign, sure.

  8. Heath Kocan

    They have poundage limits for mushrooms in CA? That is too bad. Here in Cordova the yellowfoots are out of control. After about an hour walking in the woods it is not hard to fill several grocery bags up.

    Do you have any good recipes for hedgehogs?

  9. Nicole Novak

    Hank, try using little scissors instead of pinching. Faster, cleaner, prettier! You are probably still in range. Good morning!

  10. Quinn

    Those little mushrooms look very familiar; I’ll pay more attention this year (Massachusetts) and try to identify them (and maybe eat them!).
    I’m a little surprised that wax paper bags are better than brown paper…aren’t the wax paper bags as air-proof as plastic bags? I use wax paper all the time for packed lunches.

  11. Ray T. Masterson

    Thanks for the link to the bags Hank. I can see many uses for them.

  12. Jeff @ Cheeseburger

    Thanks for sharing your secret recipe Hank!

  13. Carter

    Great post, Hank. Yellowfoot are definitely way underrated by most pickers.

    As for golden chanterelles being best preserved as a pickle- have you ever tried sauteing the water out of them, then vacuum bagging and freezing? That is my preferred method of preservation for chanterelles and most other mushrooms. I have frozen bags of chanterelles, porcini, morels, black trumpets, agaricus augustus, etc all with great results. I’ve used chanterelles that were over a year old preserved in this way with only a small loss in quality over fresh. You might consider giving it a try next time you’ve got a load of chanties.

  14. debbie viess

    Paper bags are just as good as waxies. Brown waxies are better than the plain ones…they hold up far better in the damp and rain.

    If you live in the Bay Area, there are lots of places to buy waxies: Berkeley Bowl, Whole Foods, Piedmont Grocery, etc. etc. Any higher end grocery.

    Yup, a quick sautee and then freezing is a great way to preserve golden chanterelles…but you need a big freezer, and one that doesn’t spontaneously defrost itself, like mine does!

    Another way to deal with wretched golden chanterelle excess (prob. NOT gonna happen this year) is chanterelle bacon. Chop fairly finely, then throw into a hot wok; when the mushrooms stop bubbling, they are ready to take out. They become crisp and dried and concentrated and resemble bacon bits, but with a delicious difference. You can then store them in the freezer and remove as needed. Plus, you can feed them to your vegan friends, without guilt.

    God knows I missed bacon when I was a vegetarian, for a couple of years in my late teens.

    Mmmmmmmm, bacon.

  15. Andrew Bogan

    One more vote for “half cooking” then freezing golden chanterelles. It works perfectly. I usually sauté them in a little olive oil and minced garlic until some of the water is out, but well before they are fully cooked, and then freeze them in ziplocs. But chanterelles are the only mushroom I store that way. I prefer to dry morels and porcini.

  16. Lou


    Poisonous look-a-likes (sorry if the question was already asked)


  17. Lou

    Forgot the “?”.

    Duh Lou, you man-dope 😮

  18. Lou

    Sorry Hank: 1 more, if I may

    How do you know when you have 5 lbs? How do the rangers know? Do they weigh your bucket? And how do you know when you are about to go over?


  19. Ann

    Great post, Hank! These things are growing prolifically all over the forests in Finland right now, and thanks to the “Everyman’s Law”, anyone can pick them anywhere in any quantity as long as it’s not protected land or someone’s yard. I’ve been enjoying them in just about everything from Borscht soup to roasted celeraic with yellow foots & barley. They are a gem indeed.

  20. shirley

    hi, I went out hunting yellowfeet today. I live in western wa. I found lots but they looked like they had melted. there were just a few good ones. do you have any idea what happened to cause this. we had some unusually cold weather for a couple weeks, could that do it? will they come back. would appreciate your opinion. thanks shirley

  21. Anniina

    Yellowfoot is my favourite mushroom! It’s interesting that you have that five-pound limit – in Finland there are no limits whatsoever nor anybody controlling how much you pick. You can go to any forest you want to, even if it’s owned by someone, and pick up mushrooms and wild berries. 🙂

  22. Malinda

    What a great site! Thanks for the story behind the recipes – it’s a delight to be right with you in the woods.

    Do you also find the C. lutescens? I love the little C. tubaeformis, but its yellower brother, which has only veins rather than folds, carries the strong, fruity perfume of the chanterelle, Cantharellus cibarius. It’s always a delight to discover a patch of them.

    I hunt my mushrooms in the Touraine/Anjou, along the Loire – very different kinds of forests from yours, but still rich in treasures.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipes and lore.

    p.s. For Shirley, I’ll bet they caught a frost, which can damage them. Best to wait for new growth and leave the limp ones behind.

  23. barny acheson

    Such a readable style, and your enthusiasm and knowledge come across well, with great tips and pics.

  24. Lorinda Forrest

    Thanks for the great story. I’m so intrigued by foraging for mushrooms and yet so afraid I will choose the wrong ones. Your story is inspiring and the photos so helpful. I plan to take a class one day soon as I’m more of a learn-by-doing type. Again, thanks for the inspiration!

  25. Allena Hansen

    Thank you, Hank. Yours is the most useful–and evocative– site I visit.

    Do you have a compendium of CA mushrooms in the format you showed us above (in habitat, profile, underside images?) I have an oak grove in the far Southern Sierras that sprouts a huge variety of ‘shrooms, but I can’t seem to ID them in any of my mushroom guides — either print or online. I’ve love to know what they are.

    Thanks very much if you can help.

  26. colly gruczelak

    I am looking for fresh OR dried Chanterelles…Do you know of a source? Thank you! Colly Gruczelak

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