I have a couple of questions for seasoned collectors of chanterelles.
So I guess my first question would be, can I even find Chanterelles in NJ/NY/PA area? I'm fairly sure you can, just not 100%.
Alright, but here's my real problem: I'm scared that even if I found chanterelles, I wouldn't take them. I'm scared that I would mis-id and mistake them for jacks, and I don't want to die. I have a mushroom ID pocket book. I've used it to ID oysters for the first time. I've eaten a singular morel that magically grew in my backyard (Tried hunting, never found any :(). But these are all fairly easy to ID. Almost ate a Crown-Tipped Coral Mushroom, but my Dad had found it, sent me a picture, and I was like OMG that's edible bring it home, he was gone from the area, we went back, and it was too old and gross looking for me to even want to try it. But again, these are distinctive mushrooms that don't have look alikes that will kill me.
I've read the two-three page section over and over on Chanterelles and Jacks a bunch of times from the book, and the book does a great job of laying out ID things to look for. It's made for an amateur, but I'm still nervous.
Now my question to you, the collector of these things. What do you use to positively ID chanterelles? What makes you so sure that you would risk your life on it? (I don't know toxicity of jacks, but regardless I don't want to eat a non-edible mushroom).
I know the rule of if you don't know what it is, then don't eat it. But If I magically find one, I don't want to think about the what ifs later. People have been talking about how good they taste, and I would love to try some. I want to prepare myself for properly ID-ing so that when the time comes, I do know what I'm eating. Thanks for taking the time to help a noob 🙂