Sunday, 3 November 2013

Fruits of the forest..for Free

This morning our neighbour, Antony, called with a large bowl of mushrooms he and his father had collected in the woods at Brizay near l'Ile Bouchard.

Our best identification, based on searches of all our field guides, internet images, Antony's attempts to translate for us and his cooking instructions, is the Wood Hedgehog (Hydnum repandum).  The underside of the Wood Hedgehog is covered in tiny spines 4-6mm long which are easy to remove by gently rubbing.
He told us it was a long time since they had seen so many and within two hours they had each filled their paniers.  He enthused about the culinary delights of these mushrooms so we have gently sauteed them in butter with parsley and a little salt as instructed, to use in a casserole. Any spare ones will freeze for a month or so without losing their delicate flavour.

Another freebie we have ready to roast is some eating chestnuts. We collected these in our local woods last week and look forward to enjoying them later.
You can't help but notice the resemblance to real hedgehogs in the VERY prickly spines of the eating chestnut shells!

So two "hedgehogs" from the forest for free...

5 comments:

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

We went to a nearby mushroom fair last week which was very interesting. We also bought a book on Charente mushrooms which is very useful. Not sure that we would trust our own identification though!! Have a good week. Diane

Colin and Elizabeth said...

Diane, I don't think I would trust my own identification either, but as our neighbours have eaten the rest of the mushrooms and survived we were happy to trust their judgement. Hope it's not a case of delayed reaction......!

Tim said...

They are as you identify...
but no need to remove the "prickles"...
just wash well to get any grit out.
Edible and excellent according to all my books...

Susan said...

My understanding is that you rub the prickles off because they release a lot of unwanted liquid when you cook the mushrooms. Washing them would make the problem even worse. I've cooked and eaten these from some I got from our orchard neighbour. They were by no means out of the ordinary flavour wise. We haven't seen many of these this year, which is unusual for here. Normally they are the most abundant single edible species I would say.

Susan said...

PS in French they are pieds de mouton.