[Mycology] Chanterelle troubles?

George Hudler via mycology%40net.bio.net (by gwh2 from cornell.edu)
Mon Nov 9 08:56:35 EST 2009

Colleagues -
I received the following e-mail from a former student and replied as 
you see below. Has anyone had a similar experience with "wilted" 
chanterelles...perhaps with a cause other than possible bacterial 
George Hudler (gwh2 from cornell.edu)

>Hello Professor Hudler,
>I was a student in your mushroom class and have since graduated from 
>Cornell. I am a cook and at my business we received some yellowfoot 
>chanterelles from a reputable supplier however, many of the 
>mushrooms seemed wilted upon arrival, we picked through them and 
>have been using them, however, I found today that I had a bitter 
>taste in my mouth all day ( I had consumed some of the mushrooms the 
>night before) no matter what food I tasted and although it subsided 
>later in the evening after much milk and water, when i tried some of 
>the chanterelle sauce it returned full fledged. A coworker of mine 
>had a similar sensation and I was wondering if this bitterness could 
>be associated with the mushrooms in some way and if it is something 
>to be concerned about? I thought you might be able to offer some 
>insight on the subject.


I'm not aware of any documented bitter taste associated with aged 
chanterelles, but I do know that bacterial growth on mushrooms can 
cause a wide array of unpleasant tastes.  I wouldn't be surprised to 
learn that one of those tastes is a prolonged bitterness.  I 
definitely don't think it's a good idea to serve them to the public 
and would make your supplier aware of your concerns ASAP.  Even if 
you can't get a refund on what you have purchased, I think you're 
better off to toss them than to risk lost future business because of 
dissatisfied (poisoned?) customers this time around.
I'll forward your e-mail (with your ID removed) to a mycology 
list-serve I'm on to see if anyone else has more to add on the matter.

George W. Hudler
Professor and Chair
Department of Plant Pathology
and Plant-Microbe Biology
334 Plant Science Bldg.
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 255-7848
Fax: (607) 255-4471

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