Food

Chanterelles – intolerance and allergy

Chanterelles

Chanterelles have several names. In Bavaria they are called Reherl , in Austria Eierschwammerl . Chanterelles belong to the non-agaric family. They have a strong orange color and a spicy taste. The chanterelle cannot be bred and prefers to grow on spruce and beech trees.

Here’s what you should know about chanterelles

Chanterelles were already popular edible mushrooms in ancient times. The cap of the chanterelle has a diameter of 2 to 10 centimeters, but can also grow up to 15 centimeters. The style is short. The taste is spicy and slightly peppery.

Its name was derived from this light pepper taste. They grow in Australia, America, North Asia and throughout Europe. Chanterelles thrive from early summer to late fall. It used to be found in all forests in Germany. Since the 1970s, however, it has been on the decline and is now one of the rare mushrooms in German forests. Researchers assume that various factors play a role. On the one hand, the chanterelle reacts sensitively to any kind of air pollution, on the other hand, it thrives when there is a lack of rain, falling groundwater and interventions in the forest. Heavy machines used by forest workers partially destroy the forest floor and thereby also endanger the fungus.

In some parts of Germany it is now classified as an endangered mushroom and may only be picked by private individuals for their own use. The chanterelles that are sold in the supermarkets in summer mostly come from the Baltic and Eastern European countries. Individuals can still find and harvest chanterelles in large quantities in Sweden and Finland. In these two Nordic countries, it also plays an important role in the national cuisine. The chanterelle has several subspecies, all of which are edible.

However, it can also be confused with the “false chanterelle”, which is not related to the real chanterelle. The false chanterelle also has lamellae and is orange. However, the hat is uniformly round and not fanned out like the hat of the real chanterelle. The false chanterelle is not poisonous, but in large quantities leads to weak stomach and intestinal problems . It also lacks the intense taste of real chanterelles.

importance to health

Chanterelles are considered healthy, but also difficult to digest. According to tradition, they are good for the eyes and the lungs . Chanterelles easily grow mold. In 2010, a study by the German Society for Mycology showed that 70 percent of all chanterelles sold in supermarkets were either moldy or rotten.

Moldy chanterelles can cause stomach and intestinal problems and trigger allergic reactions. In addition, large areas of forest in Austria, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia were radioactively contaminated during the Chernobyl reactor accident. The readings have fallen sharply since the late 1990s, but the dreaded cesium-137 is still measurable. The values ​​fluctuate from year to year and are constantly checked. Above all, chanterelles from Belarus have been affected by excessive values ​​since 2010. The limit is 600 becquerels per kilogram of mushrooms. If this value is exceeded, they may not be sold.

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection advises against collecting in particularly endangered areas and prefers to buy chanterelles, as they are checked before buying. Like all mushrooms, chanterelles absorb soil toxins and can therefore also be contaminated by other toxins. You should therefore avoid picking mushrooms near main roads or in the city centres. Close to cultural landscapes such as vineyards or fields, they can be heavily contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides.

Ingredients & nutritional values

Chanterelles are low in calories. 100 grams of mushrooms contain only 15 calories. They are rich in magnesium , potassium , iron and protein . Their high content of vitamin D is particularly important . This vitamin is important for building bones and muscles and is also considered a mood enhancer, since vitamin D promotes the production of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Many people suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, especially in winter. Nutrition experts recommend that vegans and vegetarians often include chanterelles in their diet in order to achieve a higher vitamin D level. However, due to the many environmental impacts, the amount should never exceed 250 grams per week.

Intolerances & allergies

Chanterelles contain purine and can trigger seizures in gout patients and worsen kidney values ​​in kidney patients. They also contain the cellulose chitin, which is considered difficult to digest. After eating chanterelles, affected people experience flatulence , abdominal pain and indigestion . Some also react to chanterelles with diarrhea .

Allergies are primarily caused by the molds that thrive on chanterelles, rather than the chanterelle itself. However, there is a rare true forest mushroom allergy. Symptoms can range from hay fever to severe asthma attacks . Chanterelles should never be eaten raw. Allergic reactions and intolerances can be greatly limited by the cooking process.

Shopping & kitchen tips

If possible, open chanterelles should be bought. In this way, rotten and bad mushrooms can be sorted out when shopping. However, many chanterelles are offered in pre-packaged trays. When shopping, you should choose the bowl with the longest expiry date.

The chanterelles must appear dry and under no circumstances should they appear to be wet or damp. After shopping, chanterelles should be cleaned immediately and all rotten and bad parts removed, cut off and thrown away. The cleaned chanterelles then keep dry and cool for a few days. They should not be wrapped in cling film. It is better to wrap them in a dry cloth. If they are heavily contaminated, they must be washed before further processing. To do this, you shower them briefly and then dry them off again immediately.

In principle, mushrooms should not come into contact with water. However, for small chanterelles contaminated with soil, this is often the only way to clean them up. One trick is to dredge the mushrooms in flour beforehand and then rinse them off.

Preparation tips

Chanterelles taste best when sautéed in butter and oil over high heat. Shortly before the end of the cooking process, finely chopped shallots and garlic are added to the pan. The chanterelles always go into the pan first, as the shallots and garlic can develop a bitter taste in the hot fat. Chanterelles are very good for freezing. The mushrooms are frozen in the pan and simmer over high heat until all the liquid has evaporated. At the end they are tossed in butter . The pan-fried chanterelles can then be served with an omelette or as an accompaniment to meat dishes.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.