Depending on where you are, white chanterelle mushrooms can be a few different things. Mostly people will know these as Cantharellus subalbidus, but there's others as well. One thing that's for certain is that they're all delicious. In this post I'll tell you everything I know about hunting, identifying and cooking them.
White Chanterelle Varieties
Cantharellus subalbidus is the chanterelle harvested in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, it grows in the fall with douglas fir in old growth forests. In Europe, there's Cantharellus pallens. which I've harvested in France.
In the Midwest, Minnesota and Wisconsin, white chanterelles grow as albino mushrooms. This happens with many chanterelles, including C. enelensis, C. phasmatis and others. Depending on the species they could grow with oaks, red pine or jack pine.
White Chanterelle Mushroom Identification
Identification is easy. Just like others, true chanterelles will always have false gills vs true gills, and a white spore print. Unlike golden chanterelles, whites will be slowly bruising yellowish when rubbed or cut.
White Chanterelle vs Gomphus flocossus
Gomphus floccossus is an inedible white chanterelle look alike that also has false gills. Some people eat them, but they're not recommended and can make you sick.
Buying White Chanterelles
White chanterelles are sometimes sold commercially. Foods in Season and West Coast Wild Foods occasionally carry them. The price of white chanterelles is usually $20-30 per pound. Contact them and get put on a list for chanterelle season.
Cooking White Chanterelles
White chants are just like others, but they have a softer, slightly milder flavor and fruity aroma. The albino varieties also have a slightly more firm texture. Young buttons should be cooked whole, larger mushrooms can be cut into pieces. They take well to a wet saute.
Pan Roasted White Chanterelles
- 1 10 inch saute pan or cast iron skillet
- 8 oz fresh white chanterelles preferably not too large
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon Grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- a few small whole sprigs of thyme
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet until nearly smoking.
- Add the chanterelles and cook until starting to brown, about 4-5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme. Put the pan in the oven for 4-5 minutes more.
- Remove the pan from the oven, add the butter and cook on medium heat. Taste a mushroom and adjust the seasoning for salt and pepper until it tastes good to you.
I've been enjoying your blog. I also found a handful of White Chanterelles in Minneapolis two days ago they were growing near some golden Chanterelles next to a small swamp . It's been great following the seasons of fungus. And cooking with them. Today I found a chicken of of the woods surrounded by a large fairy circle of fresh golden Chanterelle, no bugs whatsoever! I heard they have found four sub-species of Golden Chanterelles in Minnesota.
Hi Joseph, yeah I saw two different species of golden chants today, fun to try and pick out the differences. I much prefer the hearty variety with the thick, white stems, they cook up so nice. The white chants are very curious too, glad to hear someone other than my friend Mike and I are finding them! Good luck, and Happy hunting. A
Thanks for your blog! Found a handful in SE MN. Smelled like chanterelles, looked like chanterelles, but with yellow cap and whitish-yellowish stalk just like in your pics and how you describe. Checked the guides, have some experience with "regular" chanterelles, so I'm glad to read your account of these other ones. Thanks!
Ed von Holtum
Years ago when I was in college in Western WI; I had no money and pretty much lived on what I could shoot, catch or pick. There was a patch of white chanterelles close to the University that would fruit about the middle of July. It was very consistent and surrounded by golden chanterelles. My recollection is that they a little firmer then their yellow cousins. Any way I ate them with relish. Very much enjoy your website extremely well done.
I just picked a small basketful of these in my pasture in SE Carlton county (20 miles south of Duluth)
I am not a mushroomer but have a couple books...
I will send a pic if interested
Sorry I didn't get to reply as quick as I like to this, if you took a picture, feel free to send it to me via email- firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently tossed a few white what I suspected to be chanterelles out of my bag. I was in Eastern MN. I am new to picking and had a large amount of golden chanterelles already so I left them. Very nice clean mushroom but in the Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest book they were not listed. Played it safe. Thank you for the good read.
Travis, we actually need some dried samples of these white ones for a project I'm working on with some mycologists. If you go back, you should take some pictures and gather a few to dehydrate. If they're the ones in question I'd pay you for them, trade, etc. My spots haven't produced in 2 years now. A
I found a bunch in SE Wisconsin in the Northern kettle Moraine forest.
I think I also found white chanterelles in South shore, coastal Nova Scotia. I must be confusing it with something else as I have never heard or read about them being found on the east coast. I've read about similar looking mushrooms but they appear to be more like a chanterelle, although spore print seems pinkish. Any thoughts?
Today found white chanterelles for the first time! They were around an oak, and there were no yellow ones, only white, about 12 of them. So interesting to see others have found them also. I found mine in the northeastern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan.
I just found some in Curitiba, Brazil. Had no clue such a thing existed but they shape was like chantrelles in Bastrop. First search took me here. The pics match the specimen.
I find a handful of them under White Oaks in Henry county Georgia every June , but only for about a week and then they din't come back til the next year
Mitch Davis jr.
I just found 11 white chanterelles in NE Michigan, apparently these are more wide spread than what the books tell us. I've been picking mushrooms for yrs these are the 1st I've found. I picked them 8-31-20, by the way I did take pictures and have specimens in refrigerator.
It's easy to get excited, but, I also got just today, two messages with pics from people claiming they had white chants that were clearly not. If you want, send me a pic for confirmation. email@example.com
Found them in Missouri growing in a patch of typical orange ones. They're in the exact same spot every year, which makes me think it's definitely not environmental.