As Summer fades away and the frantic scramble to make the most of nature's bounty takes hold, none is more fleeting a crop than mushrooms. Where fruit and seeds may line footpaths and spill out of hedgerows all over the country, one has to actively seek out wild mushrooms and it is elusiveness that gives them a special sort of desirability in the culinary world. Make no mistake though, even though they are harder to find, they still grow in great numbers and so can still be picked responsibly and sustainably - care must just be taken to not damage the mycellium (the delicate root network beneath the soil) where the fruiting bodies we recognise as mushrooms grow from when the conditions are right. In fact, if done properly, picking a mushroom is no more damaging to the parent 'plant' (fungi are obviously not plants) than plucking a ripe apple off a tree.
Chanterelles are one of those mushrooms that features heavily on plenty of menus. What you'll tend to find, however, is that these mushrooms are often imported from parts of the world where labour is exploited and workers will end up picking these golden beauties for absolute peanuts. You'll be pleased to hear that these chanterelles are from the UK and are therefore far better in terms of air-miles and working conditions. Enjoy them cooked lightly in butter or oil, perhaps with a dash of cream, some crushed garlic or a little sprinkle of herbs.