Tuesday 29 November 2011

It's All In The Name.

Autumn is, of course, the season of mushrooms. We've already had a glut of Parasols, and now it's the turn of the last of the year's delicacies; the Trumpets of Death, and Rat's Teeth. Both, I'm sure you'll agree, come with delightfully tempting names.

Above, the 'Trompette des Mort' (Horn of Plenty in UK), is rather a bland mushroom. It does however have two redeeming features; once 'up' it stays fresh for quite a long time, and as it's black it can easily be used by the unscrupulous (ahem), to replace Truffles in expensive terrines, patés, etc..  

The other mushrooms are 'Dents de Rat' (Rat's Teeth). Again a mushroom that lasts well when 'up', and also grows in long lines; spot just one amongst the leaves, and with a little scraping you'll usually fill your basket.

Called the Hedgehog Mushroom in the UK, this again is rather a bland tasting fungi, but it has the advantage of absorbing whatever flavour it accompanies. Stick them in a chicken casserole, and you'll end up with the impression of having twice the amount of chicken you started with. Can't be bad!

So, it's farewell to mushrooms for a while. We now have to wait until about May for the Girolles to appear; other, of course, than our stock of delicious Cèpes in the freezer.


  1. You don't exactly give them the best marketing write-up! I'm imagining them now as a kind of naturally occurring tofu. However, the top picture is fascinating in showing how you can't judge a plant/fungus by appearance. The French name seems perfectly apt. The English one ridiculous. Yet you can eat them after all. (Not that I'm specially tempted!)

  2. I've only ever found hedgehog mushrooms singly - but far from being bland, they have been amongst the tastiest. I've never found a single trumpet of death, though.

  3. I wonder why the culinary French give the mushrooms such awful names?

    Probably so the bloody English don't come over and plunder the French countryside for these beauties...

  4. With names like that and the look of the Trompette des Mort, I would be uneasy ingesting one.

  5. Trumpets of Death...gorgeous...I'm envious of your knowledge of fungi...

  6. What a variety! not sure i would be game to taste the black ones,wonder why we think that the colour makes a difference.

  7. ou are a regular david attenborough of the mushroom world cro!


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