Essential Pittsburgh
3:50 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Chefs Go Wild Over Local Wild Mushroom

Chanterelle mushrooms are quickly becoming a popular -- and pricey -- local delicacy.
Credit Flickr

Chanterelle mushrooms are not your average fungus. The orange-hued mushrooms are a local delicacy found through foraging, and nationally acclaimed chefs like Top Chef Bryan Voltaggio are willing to pay top dollar for them.

With prices ranging from $18 to $22 a pound, they’ve become a cash crop for foragers like Wild Purveyors.

Why the hefty price? It’s all about the chanterelle’s unique flavor, which Pittsburgh Post-Gazette food critic Melissa McCart describes as “meaty and peppery,” with “an umami flavor that’s quite savory.” She says that they’re being served up locally with pasta and a mixture of other fresh ingredients, but notes that the chanterelle’s uses are pretty broad.

“They’re beautiful with eggs,” she says. “They’re incredibly versatile in the way that all mushrooms are versatile.”

 

In this additional clip, a caller asks about foraging for another local fungi favorite, the morel mushroom.