Written by: Thomas Guldbæk, Gaarden
Photo by: Semko Balcerski
Karl Johan is one of those mushrooms where you can collect quite a few. If you combine volume with an excellent distinctive nutty taste, it is given why it is a beloved mushroom.
Karl Johan grows primarily in beech, oak, and mixed and coniferous forests. They like to grow where there is little moss and small tufts of grass. The area just south of Rytterknægten in Almindingen is an excellent place to look.
The season for Karl Johan runs from July to November. Primarily a warm and wet autumn provides good opportunities to pick Karl Johan.
Freshly picked mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator for two or three days. If they are not used immediately, it is best to freeze, dry, pickle or salt them – or possibly store them in olive oil.
Karl Johan should generally be cooked, and if you fry them, it should be done with high heat, in the beginning to preserve the elasticity and moisture in the mushroom.
On the older mushrooms, you can advantageously take the pipes off and dry them in the oven. Then they can be powdered into aromatic mushroom flour. This can be used as a spice in soups, sauces, braising, gnocchi, a dry rub on ribeye and much more.
The classic uses are mushroom toast, pasta dishes and risotto.
Mushroom oil is made by heating neutral oil and mushroom pieces to approx. 80 degrees and let it sit until the next day.
Personally, I love a “white pizza” with mixed mushrooms and wild herbs.
Like Karl Johan, the chanterelles are some of the most popular mushrooms in our part of the world. It would be best to look for them under beech, oak, birch and spruce trees. The soil should be lean and the place a little windy. This is a place like Paradisbakkerne (Paradise Hills) in Nexø.
The season starts in June and lasts until the frost but peaks in August and September.
Chanterelles can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator, but it is better to freeze (after blanching), dry, or possibly keep them in olive oil.
When frying chanterelles, decide to either fry over high heat for a short time (giving juicy mushrooms) or for a long time (giving a caramelized result). Medium heat and medium cooking, on the other hand, provide a dull and watery result.
Chanterelles go well in meals with eggs, potatoes, butter and cream. Their flavour components are soluble in fat and alcohol, which means you can cook them in butter, oil, cream and wine.
The poor funnel chanterelle never gets the same attention as the beautiful yellow chanterelle. However, it is a lovely edible fungus, and unlike the common chanterelle, it can often be collected in larger amounts.
The season lasts until the frost arrives, and it can grow in coniferous and deciduous forests. Here you might want to consider a trip to Rø Plantation.
Funnel chanterelles have a more distinct mushroom-umami taste than regular chanterelles. They also have slightly more peppery notes.
It is not recommended to rinse mushrooms, but funnel chanterelles may be necessary, as several “forest residues” may be stuck to the mushrooms.
Funnel chanterelles are super good to dry. The dried mushrooms can be rehydrated or powdered as a spice.
It also works fine to blanch and freeze them.
They also work well for pickling and, of course, in soups, pies and pizza.
You can make a mushroom oil and use the oil to drip on meals or stir in mayo.
You can also make a delicious snack of mushrooms by turning them into flour and possibly spices and then fry them in a deep pan.
Both chanterelles and funnel chanterelles can advantageously be quickly salt fermented in a vacuum bag. Put a tray of mushrooms and five to seven grams of coarse salt in the bag and seal it. Let them ferment in salt on the kitchen table for one to three days. The mushrooms are great as accessories and garnishes, and the salty liquid can be used in sauces, braising and much more.