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Updates added
as of
September 30, 2014

The featured mushroom for August of 2013 was the:

Cantharellus cinnabarinusCantharellus cinnabarinus: Red Chanterelles, Cinnabars

Cinnabars are small, red cousins of the yellow or golden chanterelles. Cinnabars are edible though not as good as their golden cousins. They make a nice colorful addition to mixed mushroom dishes retaining their red color when cooked. Their flavor is delicate and slightly peppery. Unlike their golden cousins they are rarely buggy.

Red ChanterellesThe caps of cinnabars range from ¼ to almost 2 inches wide. They are round with in-rolled margins when young becoming flat to slightly funnel shaped with irregularly shaped margins when mature. They are cinnabar red when young becoming pinkish orange with age. They have strongly decurrent pseudo-gills like chanterelles that are ridge-like (wider where they join the cap) with cross veins and forks. Their stems, colored like the cap, are ½ to 2 inches high and 1/8 to 3/8 inches thick. The taste is mild to slightly peppery. They grow in open areas at the edges of oak woods primarily. Often one can find large clusters of these small but tasty mushrooms.

CinnabarsWhen I have found enough of these for a dish, I have made cinnabar omelets, used them with other mushrooms in phyllo dough rolls and used them with golden chanterelles in dishes like chicken paprika with chanterelles. Fisher and Bessette in Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America give a recipe for Curried Cinnabar-red chanterelle filo (phyllo).

The only look-alikes of note are red Hygrocybes but the blunt, veined, forked pseudo-gills quickly distinguish the cinnabar.