I joined a local mushroom group (because I can and there is a group for Everything)
After my own study of this particular type of mushroom, its lookalikes and the price of being wrong (I like the non-dying types), I posted detailed pictures of this mushroom and had it unanimously confirmed as a Cinnabar (or Fire) Chanterelle.
I saw many photos from other people of the same mushroom. The locals and experts were very familiar with it and had been eating them all week. They said they’ve been growing like crazy where I live for the last couple weeks, and that they are choice mushrooms.
So, I brought them home,
Cooked them thoroughly in a pot with butter,
…stared at them for a good 20 minutes, contemplating my life and what other bad decisions I may have made in the past.
But then I took one and first touched it with my tongue to see if any immediate reaction happened (because I’m very scientific about it).
So I chew the edge of it briefly and spit it out, wiping any residue with a napkin. I wait. Still nothing happens.
So (you can tell, by now, how confident I am in myself and the experts from the Interweb) I take a small one, go to the bathroom and chew it thoroughly, letting all the juices swish around in my mouth and spit it out again in the faucet.
Sigh. There’s nothing for it but to take a teeny weeny little bite from the edge of one and swallow.
I wait. It seems okay.
This is when another family member asks if they can have one.
Gulp! I’m not sure if I want to risk someone else’s gastrointestinal system. We have a 1… 2… 3… moment and down the hatch with a whole one.
It tastes pretty good. It has a definite rich nutty flavor mixed with the butter. I don’t think much about this until a few seconds later, when I have a WHAT HAVE I DONE!!! moment of crisis, where I realize I could have just single-handedly sealed our fate because I wanted to play Paul Bunyan and be mountain woman, living off the land for a day.
Two small panic attacks later, everything is fine. Family member walks off. I have a little tummy discombobulation that night, but all-in-all, it was good.
I know that in all the woods, THAT particular mushroom is SAFE.