[Courtesy Bizarre Bites]
As I mentioned in my post about going mushroom foraging, my friend and I found two edible mushrooms, pig’s ear and hedgehog mushrooms. Pig’s ear mushrooms are a breeding ground for maggots and supposedly don’t taste that great, so we didn’t eat them. But we did try the hedgehog mushrooms. And I was impressed.
So, again, mushroom foraging can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s best to do what I did and go with an expert who can help you identify the mushrooms.
However the hedgehog, which grows through the United States and parts of Europe, is a very distinctive mushroom. Its underside has “teeth” that are reminiscent of the coat of a hedgehog. You know, these little guys:
[Courtesy World’s Most Amazing Things]
According to the book All That The Rain Promises and More, the hedgehog mushroom “is a blessing for the novice: it is plentiful in many regions, it is usually free of maggots, and it has no poisonous look-alikes.”
My friend and I cooked the hedgehogs in olive oil with a sprinkling of Kosher salt. As they cooked, the mushrooms turned brown and became slightly crunchy on the outside.
We had tasted the hedgehog mushrooms raw and thought they tasted like a button mushroom with a little bit of spiciness. In other words, not impressive. But cooking them brought out a surprising amount of flavor. They were nutty and crunchy and so good, my friend asked if I had added any herbs in the pan when cooking.
Nope, I said. These mushrooms taste that good on their own.
Needless to say, I am now a fan of hedgehog mushrooms.