There is a very good reason why the Pacific golden chanterelle is the official State mushroom of Oregon. With over 500,000 pounds of mushrooms harvested annually, cantharellus formosus is a thing of beauty and abundance in the Northwest. On a foraging trip this week with one friend, we harvested forty pounds of mushrooms in two hours! The chanterelle is one of the most diverse mushrooms in cooking combinations, pairing well with grains, fruits, beans, peppers, tomatoes, summer and fall squashes, poultry and wild game. For those that forage their own mushrooms, the chanterelle is one of the most delightful funghi of the wild, a field of bright orange buttons in on a carpet of green moss is a beautiful sight to behold, and a certain sign of the joy of autumn days.
I know that some restaurants, especially in the New England states, prefer high altitude bouchons, or high latitude chanterelles, such as the chanterelles of Saskatchewan. The Oregon chanterelle does grow quite fast in our climate, and can often become huge ragged trumpets. They aren't always as pretty as the cute little buttons of higher country, but I find the fragrance of our chanterelles to be the finest of its kind.