I went mushroom foraging today with some coworkers, and we found Chanterelles. Finally!
I tried last week but came away empty handed aside for some Dewberries and wild fennel.
Today, in Mississippi, near the border with Louisiana, about an hour outside of New Orleans, was where we "found" the bounty. The property is owned by a coworker's family and there were so many mushrooms that in some areas I couldn't take a step without crushing one. I estimate that we gathered about 30 lbs. If we had stayed longer we could have gathered 3x more. It was hard to leave when the forest floor was scattered with golden mushrooms everywhere we looked.
Since I expressed me desire to go and my interest in mycology, they graciously took me along, and while I was there I also took some Oak suckers, that had thankfully already rooted, from the oak trees responsible for the chanterelles (Chanterelles are mycorrhizal and therefore, require a symbiotic relationship with a tree), as well as soil and mycelium from where the mushrooms were popping up. I plan on replanting these saplings (which are probably already inoculated with the fungus) in the soil I collected, and then replanting them on my own property in about 18 months. Hopefully, I can successfully cultivate chanterelles. I also took a few spores prints and will try a separate technique, attempting to inoculate already mature trees with the spores.
I guess I'll let everyone know in 3-5 years if my attempts at culivation were successful, but in the mean time, we still picked a bunch of delicious mushrooms!!
Chanterelles have faux gills, and don't release many spores. They are golden/yellow/orange, with white flesh. Chanterelle lookalikes will have real gills, yellow flesh (inside as well as out), and look "wetter."
After taking some spore prints I cooked mine in butter, diced onion and garlic, and served it with braised short ribs and cauliflower. They're delicious. Anyone who says they hate mushrooms have never tried these!!