[Mycology] Chanterelle troubles?

Joe Skulan via mycology%40net.bio.net (by jlskulan from geology.wisc.edu)
Mon Nov 9 14:36:40 EST 2009

It's interesting that the mushrooms don't taste bitter themselves, but  
(apparently) increase sensitivity to bitterness after a delay. There  
are a handful of foods that affect taste like this. From personal  
experiments I know that eating a small bit of the bitter bolete,  
Tylopilus felleus, greatly increases sensitivity to sweet tastes for  
about an hour. In this case the effect was delayed many hours, which  
suggests that it did not act directly on the tongue, but was absorbed  
and circulated throughout the body and reached the tongue or its  
nerves that way.

It's definitely a good idea not to serve the mushrooms. However, I  
hope he doesn't throw them all away-- I would be very interested in  
getting a sample of them, and gladly would cover shipping expenses:

Joe Skulan
Geology Museum
1215 W. Dayton St.
Madision, WI 53706

On Nov 9, 2009, at 7:56 AM, George Hudler wrote:

> 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  
> growth?
> Thanks.
> 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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