Wild Mushrooms – Which is Which?

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From Hedge Hog to Chanterelle, Black Trumpet to Lobster … a guide to wild mushrooms and how to incorporate such delightful ingredients into your cooking.

Black Trumpet

This black thin walled mushroom is great with truffles, watch out though, it’s full of the forest and needs extra cleaning. Black trumpets are grown in Europe and North America and available in late Autumn.


Chanterelles are unmistakable with their bright, yellow color. They are grown globally but are legendary in France. I like to scrape the stalk to obtain a two tone color; it also makes for a more tasty stalk. Wash quickly, dry, and store on a napkin (don’t tell the restaurant manager though). The strongest supply is August through November.


Lobster Mushrooms are available from late summer until October. This meaty, full-fleshed mushroom is named for its reddish tint which resembles cooked lobster. Very firm, they take some cooking.


Wild Matsutake, treasured for their appearance and potency by the Japanese, are elusive mushrooms that like to hide under pine needles in late summer and fall.

Hedge Hog

Named for it’s spiny gills (after that spiny wild animal) the hedge hog mushroom is another Autumn arrival. I think it lends itself well to longer cooking and is great braised. Again, I like to scrape the stalk and remove those gills.

When I sauté mushrooms I always start them off in a real hot pan with just a touch of oil. I add the seasoning towards the end. If you add the seasoning at the beginning water will be drawn from the mushroom and they will not sauté but boil. Finish with pre-cooked shallots and chopped herbs … enjoy!

Related Story: Italian Stuffed Mushrooms


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