Produce of Paris: Champignons (Mushrooms)

September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Champignons au marché Popincourt, Paris, 75011

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.

girolles in their paper sac

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.

In the pan

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.

Ready to eat

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).

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