Easily identified edible mushrooms No. 1 - Hedgehog mushrooms


Hedgehog mushrooms (Hydnum repandem)have to be one of the most easily identified edible mushrooms and moreover, they are commonly found in a range of different habitats - both beech woodland and pine forest are a reliable place to find them.  They like to grow in leaf litter but can sometimes be found tucked up next to a grass tussock.

The key identification points are:-

  . Irregular shaped caps with wavy edges and often with pits on top
  . A cream coloured cap with a hint of caramel with these colours being found underneath and     down the stem
  . Caps have a shammy leather like appearance and feel
  . Underneath the cap there are hedgehog-like spines rather than gills 

It is important to try a small amount of any new type of wild food as some can give a few people some problems with digestion, or in rare cases, an unexpected allergic reaction.  So always eat a small amount first to make sure that hedgehog mushrooms are safe for you.  If all is well then you can eat your foraging haul the following day.

These mushrooms are best cooked for quite a while by frying them in butter or marg until they are golden brown and a little crisp round the edges.  Then they taste deliciously nutty and little bit like crispy bacon.  

Hopefully you will find these mushrooms in a woodland near you. Enjoy!