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German trader offers "Ready to cook' chanterellesIt's been a good season for wild mushrooms like Chanterelles, according to Uwe Buschhaus from German based mushroom trader Speisepilze. Supplying primarily to German wholesalers and the food service, ample supplies and lower prices this year have created a good market.
The chanterelle season starts in May, with the first mushrooms coming from Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, followed by supplies from Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia, through to the end of the season, which ends in October. Although most of the supply is kept for the domestic market, around 70%, Speisepilze also exports some of its mushrooms to other markets such as the UK, France, Holland, Austria and other surrounding countries.
"The prices at this time last year for chanterelle mushrooms was much higher, selling around EUR 11-12 per kilo, compared to around EUR 7 this year. You would think that we would be happy to sell the mushrooms for more, but ultimately, lower prices mean more sales because restaurants choose to keep them on the menu and keep on going back for more. This means that we will most likely sell two to three times more than last year."
Speisepilze recently invested in new washing machinery for the company's chanterelle mushrooms, something that many of their competitors don’t have. The special machinery washes the mushrooms briefly with high pressure water so they do not have the chance to absorb the water and dry quickly. Washing chanterelles can be quite time consuming when done manually, and now with this machine, the trader is able to process several kilos per hour. This means that they can offer the mushrooms as 'ready to cook' which cuts down on a significant amount of prep time for their customers.
The end of the chanterelle season is followed by the oyster varieties, such as lemon, king and pink, which are in season from October through March. Boletus from Romania are also in season with high quality and are fetching high prices, but with low supply at the moment, it remains an unpredictable mushroom.
"Of course, the most stable mushroom in terms of demand remains the standard white button mushrooms which are available year round. We have also noticed a sharp increase in demand for the King Oyster, which has tripled in the last few years."
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Tel: +49 2302 623318
Fax: +49(0)2302 962184
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