Cinnabar chanterelles / red chanterelles, Cantharellus cinnabarinus, are an often overlooked member of the Chanterelle family.
Though smaller and slightly less delectable than their larger, more famous cousins, cinnabar chants are certainly edible, and quite delicious in their own way.
|A fairy ring of cinnabar chanterelles in the Piney Woods of East Texas|
Most blogs and even professional foraging books group cinnabar chants with the larger, yellow chanterelles, and treat them as an afterthought. This is problematic, as the cinnabar chanterelle has a wider range of look-a-like species, and if you simply use the information for regular chanterelle look-a-likes, you could find yourself eating a potentially harmful species.
I'm going to try and prevent that confusion with this post.
As a side note, I've been wanting to do a post on chanterelle and cinnabar chanterelle identification for some time. Cinnabar chants were one of the mushrooms we found most abundantly in the greater New York area. However, at the time I couldn't afford a smart phone or quality digital camera to be able to take the kinds of detailed pics I feel are essential for identification of these species.
And since moving to Texas, where higher salaries and lower cost of living have overall improved our quality of life, I've been unable to find these guys, until a trip to the Piney Woods of East Texas.