They’re adored by chefs around the world and commonly found in the wild, so why don’t we hear more about golden chanterelles? Nevin Martell takes to Vancouver Island in search of this often overlooked fungi. 

We’re lost but we don’t care, because we’re striking gold. Not the literal precious metal—I mean, golden chanterelle mushrooms. Found only in the wild, the fetching trumpet-shaped fungi with an aureate-apricot hue are highly prized by chefs around the world for their rich nutty flavor and peach-scented aroma. Some even hold them in the same high regard as truffles or morels.

They were a staple for French nobility in the 18th century, and were a regular feature in palace kitchens. Now, fungi fanboys and girls love their versatility—they can be sautéed and tossed with pasta; preserved as conserves or pickles; transformed into a luxuriant gravy; baked into a quiche; or pureed into soup. The only boundary is the cook’s imagination.