While we have always been fans of Sonic the Hedgehog, these hedgehogs are not destined for video game superstardom but they are a favorite fungi for foragers.
No hedgehogs were harmed in the making of these mushrooms.
Hedgehog mushrooms, or sweet tooth mushrooms, are just one of the few wild, edible, fungi varieties commonly found in North America. Foragers actively search damp, coastal forests (particularly in the Pacific Northwest) for these coveted mushrooms. Hedgehog mushrooms have yet to make their way consistently to grocery store shelves, and can be difficult to track down.
There are two varieties of hedgehog mushrooms. Hydnum repandum are the larger of the two and have a range of colors from buff to yellow to rusty orange. H. umbilicatum are teeny hedgehog mushrooms with coloring similar to the H. repandums, with caps that max out at around 1 inch in diameter. Both of these varieties are easily identified by their toothy, quill-like under bellies, or caps. The quills are firm, not painful or pokey, and are what inspired the hedgehog connection.
Cooking with Hedgehog Mushrooms
Hedgehog mushrooms share some culinary similarities with golden chanterelles. They’re firm, chewy, and have a sweet and meaty flavor, which is moderately mild compared to the bursting-with-flavor chanterelles. Like chanterelles, hedgehog mushrooms should also be cooked. This flavor and texture balance makes hedgehog mushrooms a lovely addition to recipes. Hedgehog mushrooms can easily be substituted for chanterelles, being much more budget-friendly than pricey chanterelles. From a culinary perspective, hedgehog mushrooms perform similarly to shiitakes, making them a fun substitute for those more common mushrooms.
Check out these recipes for some inspiration, simply swap out the mushrooms in the recipes below for hedgehog mushrooms.
Sourcing Hedgehog Mushrooms
Seasonal availability varies from coast to coast with a concentration of hedgehog mushroom growth happening in the fall. Specialty produce growers or retailers may have hedgehog mushrooms available, but it is best to call ahead and see. Making friends with the produce farmers at your local farmers market is another good way to get ‘in the know’ on where you can source these mushrooms locally.