swe.: Svart trumpetsvamp | nor.: Sort trompetsopp | fin.: Mustatorvisieni | dt.: Herbsttrompete, Totentrompete
Some of the best! Horn of plenty, black chanterelles or black trumpets as they are also called are very intense and aromatic mushrooms. They are excellent for drying and strike a high market value. Since they cannot be cultivated they have certain exclusivity to them.
Appearance & habitat of black trumpets
The hardest part is to spot them. Their black colour and camouflage look makes it sometimes very hard to see them on the forest floors. However, the good news is that these mushrooms tend to grow in the same area year after year. They are also not solitary and tend to grow in masses. So if you are lucky to find some, make sure to remember the exact place for the coming seasons and check your surroundings carefully for more. They prefer calcareous soils and usually grow in the company of beeches or oaks. Due to their black colour they are easy to mistake for rotten mushrooms at a first glance.
Due to their thin-skinned structure, trumpets can be dried very easily and then ground into mushroom powder
height: up to 7 cm
months: July – October
colours: grey-black trumpet cap | grey foot
habitat: beech, oak
smell: mild, fruity
characteristic: grows in masses, black funnel, grey on outside
The hollow and funnel-shaped fruiting body is turned up like a trumpet at the edge and reaches a diameter of up to 12 cm. The surface is tomentose to flaky and has a brown-gray or soot-grey to black colour. The smooth outside is usually coloured light grey.
Like all Craterelles, black trumpets have no gills or ridges, but a largely smooth to wrinkled outer skin. The very thin flesh is also gray to blackish.
Lookalikes of Black trumpets
In rare cases, black trumpets could be mistaken for the inedible firesite funnel (Faerberia carbonaria) which is simply not very tasty. More likely, however, is the confusion with of the equally tasty gray Ashen chanterelle (Cantharellus cinereus), which is considered quite rare in Northern regions. In Central Europe we encounter them regularly and they grow very often right in between black trumpets. Confusing these might happen quite frequently since most people even do not know that these mushrooms exist.
However, caution is required if the mushrooms are already decomposing (e.g. after frost). This is identified by a very pliable, limp flesh instead of the otherwise brittle one. Potentially a confusion with other decomposed mushrooms is possible.
Cleaning of black trumpets
The hollow trunk should be checked carefully for dirt and unwanted inhabitants like insects or snails when cleaning. Sometimes it is best to simply split the mushrooms in half with your fingers. Clean them with a knife and a brush. Avoid rinsing them under water.
Black trumpets in the kitchen
Prepare them in a way that showcases their flavourful aroma. Even though they are also great in mixed mushroom dishes we prefer them solo – especially if used fresh. Some mushrooms that mix well are chanterelles, craterelles or milder species like hedgehog mushrooms and shaggy manes.
Black trumpets omelet recipe
Black trumpets – 140 gram (fresh)
Eggs – 3
Red onion – 1
Garlic – 2 cloves
Olive Oil – 4 Tbsp.
Parsley – 2 Tbsp.
Salt – on demand
Pepper – on demand
- Clean the black trumpets carefully. Use a brush and avoid water. Cut the mushrooms in half and check the hollow trunk for dirt and animals.
- Preheat the oven to 200° C top heat.
- Dice the onion and garlic.
- Fry the onion in 2 tbsp olive oil until translucent and put them aside.
- Sauté the horn of plenty in 2 tbsp of olive oil and with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Add garlic after 3 minutes.
- Spread the mushrooms evenly in the pan. Add the onion and eggs.
- Put the pan in the oven until the eggs are baked, Make sure your pan can be used for such purposes!
- Add the parsley and carefully slide everything from the pan onto a plate.
- Serve with (dark) bread.
If you want to dry them, cut the cleaned mushrooms in half and put them in the oven. Leave them there at 45° C for around 3 to 4 hours. The oven must remain ajar during the whole time. For this you can e.g. clamp a wooden spoon in the oven door. Turn the trumpets once in a while so they don’t stick to the baking paper. The dried mushrooms can be stored in a jar for a very long time. You can also grind them to a very tasty powder and use it for seasoning.
We have compiled this overview with the best of knowledge and belief, but do not claim to be complete and reserve the right to make errors.
Learn more about poisonous mushrooms and mushroom poisons here