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Chanterelles and Family Traditions

Discover how fungi are part of Lithuanians family traditions and cuisine.

FFungi Staff

Design

Milda Pranskute

FFungi Volunteer

Foraging chanterelles along with other mushrooms has been a life-long tradition in my family. It's actually how I came to love fungi! My father would take me foraging ever since I was little and then as the years went by I started to i.d. more mushrooms and go foraging on my own and long story short - fungi became a passion of mine.

Pictures by Milda Pranskute


However, mushroom-picking is not unique to just my family -  it is a quite popular activity for many Lithuanians. The tradition that has been a part of Lithuanian culture for a very long time and you can tell from looking at Lithuanian cuisine. During Christmas Eve dinner in Lithuania it is custom to not eat meat, and so during this time almost a majority of the dishes consist of mushrooms that people have picked in the warmer months and preserved in some way or another for the winters.

We foraged them near Lake Giluzis in a region of Lithuania called Suvalkija. We found them in a quite mixed forest, consisting of a variety of trees: pines, birch trees, hazelnuts, some oaks.



Recipe for Fresh Potatoes with Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Chanterelle mushrooms
  • Fresh potatoes
  • Sour cream
  • Bacon
  • Water
  • Cornstarch or flour
  • Dill or spring onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Steps:


  1. First you boil the potatoes and mushrooms in separate saucepans.
  1. Then you slice some bacon into cubes and let it sizzle on the pan for a bit until the natural fats begin to melt and disperse in the pan.
  1. You add the boiled chanterelle mushrooms to the pan with the bacon and let them cook and change color slightly (this is the part where the kitchen starts to smell soooo good because of all the mushroom aroma!)
  1. Add chopped onion and allow to cook for 5 more mins or so.
  2. Add some water and quite a bit of sour cream (this will be the base of the sauce)
  3. Mix some cornstarch or flour into a little bit of water and add this mixture into the pan. This will help the sauce thicken.
  4. Allow everything to cook down for a bit until preferred consistency. There is no right or wrong way. You may want to add more water or sour cream, or you may way to add less.
  5. Lastly add some black pepper and salt.


To serve, add the boiled potatoes to a plate and top with the mushroom sauce, or put on the side and finish everything off with a garnish of chopped dill or spring onion. Enjoy!