Food - Drink
What Makes Hedgehog Mushrooms Unique
By CLAIRE REDDEN
Hedgehog mushrooms are a popular group of edible fungi, and like many other mushrooms, these species consist of a small stem and with a larger cap on top. However, underneath their smooth, cream-colored caps, hedgehog mushrooms have short, vertically-hanging spines, similar to the spiky back of a hedgehog.
Most hedgehog mushrooms have a flavor that is similar to that of chanterelle mushrooms, which are somewhat sweet with an apricot-like note, but hedgehogs have a slightly earthier, nuttier taste and peppery finish. Every part of the mushroom is edible, including the spines, which are soft rather than sharp or spiny.
Hedgehog mushrooms grow symbiotically with trees, so they can't be cultivated and can only be foraged for in the wild. They make a great alternative to chanterelles and are safer to forage, since the spines make them unmistkable, and they can be found around beech, birch, scots pine, spruce, and western hemlock trees.