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Saturday, September 14, 2013

A #Chanterelle Cantata by John von Daler


                They are up there among my best experiences, like hearing Brahms' Double Concerto for violin and cello with #Piatagorsky and #Heifetz for the first time. Or like putting for the first time ever a piece of #Crottin de Chavignol on a piece of baguette in my mouth and chasing it with a glass of good #Bordeaux. Or seeing the view over the Bay of Amalfi from #Ravello.
                 I am talking about #chanterelles. It was a summer day. I was on Funen. A beautiful lady was sitting on the lawn in the sun, a bowl between her bare legs, brushing with a little kitchen utensil each and every one of the small, dark golden mushrooms. She also cut off with a knife any bits of dirt or leaves. (Chanterelles and water do not mix well after they have been picked, so you have to find other ways to clean them.) After this painstakingly meditative work she gathered the small mushrooms up and took them to the kitchen where they were exposed to the air and my anticipation the rest of the afternoon.
                That evening she sautéed some onions in butter and then mixed them in the same pan with the chantarelles and garlic. Then she poured in some Noilly Prat and added some heavy sour cream. The chanterelles were served on a piece of freshly toasted bread together with a glass of white wine from Sancerre.
                The "season" in Denmark for chanterelles lasts from July to November (imported) if you want fresh ones. If you order something that includes these fine little fungi at a restaurant, you will have to use a microscope to find one - and they will charge you for the microscope. Buy them fresh - or find them in your neighborhood forest - and make them instead of - or together with - meat or fish. It is a heavenly experience. They are on my personal Seven Wonders of the World list along with the aforementioned delights.

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