Produce of Paris: Champignons (Mushrooms)
September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
I already wrote a bit about all the amazing, beautiful, different varieties of mushrooms that are suddenly the stars of Paris markets. Well, I decided to buy some. I spent a lot of time looking but the ones gathered in France are really quite expensive. I debated paying much less for mushrooms from Portugal, but that seemed to defeat the entire experience. I also debated trying one of the varieties that I have never had before. But the more unusual and interesting, the more expensive.
I ended up with chanterelles, des girolles, in French. I LOVE chanterelles. They were also a specialty in Oregon. I remember once when my parents were visiting my mom bought a big bag full from a local market and then sauteed them with cream and shallots. Heaven.
Chanterelles are beautiful, earthy, elegant, whimsical, and extremely tasty. This bunch was expensive but worth every cent. I sauteed them quickly, on high heat, with a touch of butter and a touch of olive oil, then sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. I paired them with some large crevettes (shrimp), cooked the same way except with the addition of ginger for an added kick, and fresh spinach, just lightly wilted, and a glass of red wine. Heaven again.
If I want more I will probably buy those from Portugal. I imagine they taste just as good and given my current financial circumstances, I can only afford to treat myself once in a while. Or, maybe this will be my only taste of France’s mushroom season as I really do want to support local producers and local vendors whenever possible. We’ll see.
In any case, almost as much as I enjoy buying, cooking and eating, I enjoy wandering around different markets, looking and smelling, mouth watering madly. I know that at the very least I will be doing plenty more of that. I hope that the season is not too short though the unseasonable sunshine and heat we are having may be wreaking some havoc on cool, cloudy, rain-loving mushrooms (as it is on me).