We love the earthy, buttery flavor of chanterelles, but by this time of year, they’re long gone from our local woods. The question, then, is how to preserve the surplus from our occasional picking bonanza. Some people pickle ’em, others saute and freeze, but to my taste, the subtle flavors get lost in the processing. So we’ve resorted to dehydrating chanterelles, and accepting that the texture won’t be the same. But the flavors intensify, in much the way dried shiitake mushrooms have a stronger taste than fresh, making up for loss of texture. Finely ground or rehydrated and diced, dried chanterelles bring fantastic flavor to soups, sauces, gravy and stuffing.
After all the effort involved–from picking and cleaning to the depressing process of watching a huge bag of fresh mushrooms shrink to just a handful in the dehydrator–proper storage is key. And that means limiting the humidity inside the storage jars. But how to know if the humidity is right, other than watching and hoping mold doesn’t sprout? I hate mold.
That’s where the Hygrolid comes in. This cool product has a hygrometer to measure humidity built directly into a lid that fits standard mason jars. Hence the name. Put your precious dried goods (Seed keepers, cigar aficionados and other smokers will love this) and you can monitor the internal humidity at a glance. Awesome. Anyway, I’m not being paid to endorse this product, it’s just so excellent I thought anyone who preserves dried food might be interested. For more info or to buy, check out the Hygrolid website HERE.