This weekend the ‘real’ Autumn arrived quietly and the temperature dropped down; the air is sharp and the footpaths are getting yellow and orange, covered by an incredible carpet of leaves.
I really like this season, though it is one that a lot of people find sad. I find it full of strong colours and recently I’ve even subscribed to a mushroom course and a trip to the forest was included in the pack!
I really didn’t know the Autumn mushrooms that grow in this region, like the ones in my country – if the Autumn is mild, you can still find late Summer mushrooms, so it was a ‘discovery’ day.
Still, I am quite sceptical, so I didn’t pick all the mushrooms in the forest and I limited my discovery to a new, very particular mushroom that apparently, despite the “dark name”, is an incredible tasty friend in the kitchen.
This mushroom is called Craterellus cornucopioides or ‘trumpet of the dead‘, black chanterelle, black trumpet, or horn of plenty.
I didn’t take any photos in the forest because it was a real pain to see them and my phone camera was not really happy to keep them in focus – black in a dark muddy area!
In the end I managed to find a small quantity that I am jealously going to dry and add to some recipes in the future, as apparently when they dry, the taste improves and it gets closer to a black truffle taste…let’s see.
The mushrooms are very easy to recognise so, even if you are not a mushroom genius, if you read one or two descriptions and if you look at some photos, I’m sure you will be able to pick them if you manage to spot them in the forest!
My mushrooms were very dirty so the first step was to clean them properly.
As the mushrooms have this trumpet shape it is important to remove the bottom part, which was probably in the ground, and to open them in half to make sure that there are no “guests” inside.
I washed all of mine under cold running water to remove all the dirty bits – it took me a while but I think I succeeded!
When you wash the mushrooms they break a bit as they are quite thin and fragile but I don’t think it’s a big deal because you are going to dry them, so it’s better if they are clean than in big pieces.
I put the wet mushrooms on top of a piece of kitchen towel to soak up some of the water.
After a bit, I transferred the mushrooms to a sheet of baking paper and I put them inside the oven to dry at 100° with the ventilation on as my flat is far from being the best place to dry my mushrooms naturally…
When the mushrooms looked dry enough I put them into a jar and put them aside, and I will wait for the right ‘risotto moment‘ to try them out!
When they dried they reduced to nothing!!!!! Sigh…
However, I’m quite excited to try them out as they smell incredibly good!
P.S. you can get more info at this useful link I’ve found.