ABOUT HEDGEHOG MUSHROOM
HEDGEHOG MUSHROOMS First described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, it is the type species of the genus Hydnum. The fungus produces fruit bodies (mushrooms) that are characterized by their spore-bearing structures—in the form of spines rather than gills—which hang down from the underside of the cap. The mushroom tissue is white with a pleasant odor and a spicy or bitter taste. All parts of the mushroom stain orange with age or when bruised
BENEFITS OF HEDGEHOG MUSHROOM
The delightful hedgehog mushroom is a delicious, dependable and versatile mushroom.. Hedgehogs don’t have long, narrow gills like most other mushrooms; instead, tiny soft, hairlike teeth or spines grow on the underside of their caps, which resemble a bristly hedgehog, giving them their charming name.
Fresh hedgehog mushroom are rather mild in taste, but their delicate, nutty flavor and tender texture are quite wonderful. These qualities make fresh hedgehog mushrooms an excellent substitute for other fresh mushrooms, especially chanterelles. When other mushrooms are out of season, use the charming hedgehog in any dish calling for fresh mushrooms.
THE PRODUCT QUALITY
Also, the similar Terracotta hedgehog (hydnum rufescens). The wonderfully miserable sounding Depressed hedgehog mushroom (hydnum umbilicatum) is not recorded in the UK, though I know several locations where all the terracotta hedgehogs grow with a central depression.
- Edibility – 4/5 – Delicious, firm-textured mushrooms
- Distribution – 3/5 – Not hard to find in the correct habitat
- Identification – 5/5 – Straightforward: Look for pale (salmon pink to cream) 4 – 20cm diameter eccentric caps with thick, squat stipes (often several fused together). Small, detachable spines (1 – 5mm) on the underside of the cap. The general gestalt of hedgehog mushroom is of stocky solidity, though the flesh does break easily. If your hedgehog mushroom seem quite small and salmon pink or pale orange, you may have the closely related terracotta hedgehog (h.rufescens). If these have a noticeable central depression or even hole (and you aren’t in the UK), then you may have the wonderfully named depressed hedgehog (h.umbilicatum). Both are edible and good, though of much less substance than their larger cousin.
- Habitat – mycorhizal with beech, birch, scots pine, spruce