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Hedgehog mushrooms are reminiscent of the chanterelle mushroom because of its vibrant orange coloring and its nutty, peppery and sometimes fruity flavor. The Hedgehog is an upright mushroom with a wide indented cap that contains downward projecting teeth on its underside. Its stem is stout, truncated and firm. The entire mushroom should maintain its golden color aside from the flesh, which is chalk white. Hedgehogs mushrooms have a meaty texture and earthy flavor.
Hedgehog mushrooms can be found through the summer months and into fall. Depending on geographic location, they can be found in the late winter months.
The wild Hedgehog mushroom is represented by two species, Hydnum repandum and the smaller Hydnum umbilicatum. These mushrooms belong to the toothed fungi varieties, yet they are not related to the Lion's Mane or other Hericium species. Hydnum repandum and its related species are, in fact, related to Chanterelle mushrooms, most closely Cantharellus cibarius. In a nod to its flavor and shape, it earned the nicknames Sweet Tooth, Pig's Trotter and Wood Urchin. Hedgehog mushrooms are easily identified in the wild; however, as with all wild mushrooms, do not eat or touch the mushroom unless there is a 100% certainty of its identification.
Hedgehog mushrooms contain vitamin D. They contain properties that contribute to increased stamina and lessened fatigue. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well. Use caution, eating large amounts of raw Hedgehog mushrooms can be toxic.
Hedgehog mushrooms are best cooked. This mushroom is ideal for canning as the texture and taste can be successfully preserved. The Hedgehog mushroom can be used as a substitute where a recipe calls for chanterelle mushrooms. Butter, garlic, cream and fresh herbs compliment the flavor of Hedgehog mushrooms. To store, refrigerate in a paper bag or between damp paper towels for up to a week.
In Germany, Hedgehog mushrooms are referred to as Semmelstoppelpilz, and in France, they are known as Pied de mouton, which translates to ‘foot of the sheep’. Some of the more brightly colored Hedgehog mushroom varieties are used for dying wool.
The Hedgehog mushroom has a symbiotic (mycorrhizal) relationship with various trees, including birch, beech and some conifers. The toothed mushroom can be found predominantly growing in Europe and North America, and in some areas of Asia. Hedgehog mushrooms are considered prized and tasty, appealing to mycologists and foragers alike. A related paler species, Hydnum albidum can be found in the Southwestern United States. No attempts at cultivation have been made as of 2015; Hedgehog mushrooms are still only available through foragers.
Recipes that include Hedgehog Mushrooms. One is easiest, three is harder.
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