Cantharellus cinereus

Cantharellus cinereus

Cantarello or Finferlo (Cantharellus cinereus (Pers .: Fr.) Fr.) is an edible mushroom belonging to the Cantharellaceae family.

Systematics –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Fungi, Basidiomycota Division, Basidiomycetes Class, Cantharellales Order, Family Cantharellaceae and therefore to the Genus Cantharellus and to the Specie C. cinereus.
The terms are synonymous: Cantharellus hydrolyps J. Schröt., Craterellus cinereus (Pers.) Donk and Pseudocraterellus cinereus (Pers.) Kalamees.

Etymology –
The term Cantharellus derives from the diminutive of cántharus, cup, cup and this from the Greek κάνθᾰρος kántharos, cup with two handles: similar to a small cup, due to the shape of the carpophore. The specific epithet cinereus comes from cinis, cineris cenere: for its color ashy, cenerognolo, greyish.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Cantharellus cinereus is a not very frequent fungus that can be found in broad-leaved woods, under Chestnut in particular but also under conifers, with preference for areas rich in humus, as and more than its similar, with which it can be confused , Craterellus cornucopioides. The period of discovery is summer-autumn.

Recognition –
This Cantarello is recognized for having a hat of 1.5-5 (6) cm, umbilicato, barely convex as a young man with the margin that later spreads, pruinose, wavy-lobed; the stony surface is pruinose-scaly, especially towards the edge, of a grayish color and with more or less brown tones; tones that depend on age and environmental conditions being lighter with dry and more blackish when wet. The hymenophore is formed by veins and folds, very evident at full development, anastomized, spaced and ramified; the color of these pseudolamelle is gray-havana that can take shades even bluish in young specimens and tend to take over time gray-cinerine colors due to the maturation of white spores. The stem measures 2.5-5 (6) × 0.3-0.6 cm, more or less curved, grooved and compressed; rather broadly fan-shaped at the insertion of the pseudolamelle, it fades towards the base and is full in youth, while in adulthood it can become fibrillose, fistulous vertically, often up to the outside of the hat; the color of the stem is similar to the pileic one, just lighter, sometimes a little discolored towards the foot. The meat is white or just grayish that contrasts with the darker colors of the hat; the consistency is a bit ‘elastic with a marked and good fruity smell of plums, while the taste is pleasant. Hyaline spores are seen under the microscope.

Cultivation –
Mushroom not cultivated.

Uses and Traditions –
Cantharellus cinereus, due to its characteristics, is difficult to confuse with other mushrooms, with the exception of Craterellus cornucopioides, excellent edible, darker in color, with less firm flesh and, very important, with the smooth and not rich hymenium branched ribs. It also differs from the stem, which in C. cornucopioides is hollow, whereas in C. cinereus it is full. Although apparently very similar to the Trombette of the dead (Craterellus cornucopioides), in reality the possible confusion is due only to the chromatism.
Although it is an edible fungus it is less tasty than the similar Craterellus cornucopioides, but it can be consumed in various ways and recipes.

Preparation Mode –
The Cantharellus cinereus is still considered a good edible mushroom, tasty and its meat, moderately consistent, makes it very suitable for prolonged cooking. For its fruity smell it is particularly suitable as a side dish for meat dishes. It can also be kept dried or mixed in oil.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Cetto B., 2008. Real mushrooms, Saturnia, Trento.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Attention: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.




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