Swedish: Blek taggsvamp
Norwegian: Bleik piggsopp
English Syn.: Sweet Tooth
hat: 4 – 20 cm
months: June – November
colours: yellowish-white stem, light yellow cap
characteristic: white parts turn yellow uppon pressure, spines instead of gills
habitat: mixed forest
taste: mild, slightly bitter in older specimen
smell: pleasant, fruity
In autumn hedgehog mushrooms often appear en masse, and since most of the mushroom pickers ignore these light yellow forest dwellers, the foraging pressure is quite low compared to other species.
Mixed forests are the preferred habitat. Its reputation as a not very desirable edible mushroom is largely due to its somewhat idiosyncratic appearance. Its spiny underside can be a bit irritating for the aesthetic sense. We usually associate edible mushrooms with lamellae or pores – spines are difficult to reconcile with this classification.
A certain visual resemblance to chanterelles that can appear at first glance can also be found on the culinary level. Both the smell and the slightly peppery taste offer certain similarities. When cooked, the hedgehog mushroom has a milder taste and, in our opinion, can be used in a variety of ways. Its firm consistency makes it the ideal protagonist for various dishes.
Hedgehog mushrooms are one of the few mushrooms that do not have any poisonous doppelgangers. They are easy to identify, making them great for inexperienced mushroom pickers. Often it is confused with other varieties such as the white hedgehog mushroom (Hydnum repandum var. Albidum) or the depressed hedgehog (Hydnum umbilicatum). But since all of these species are edible, there is no danger here.
Notes for cooking: Only the young specimens where the spines are relatively short should be harvested. At an older stage, they tend to be bitter. This fact is already pointed out in older writings, whereby the hedgehog mushroom has been considered a good edible mushroom for centuries. The spikes on the bottom can be easily removed with a knife. They contain most of the bitter substances and are often unsightly in the food. Their firm consistency makes bread stubble mushrooms excellent fried mushrooms.
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