Walking across woodlands and along old ruins and walls, my inner forager leaps into action.
This week on the survival series, I’m going back to fungi and am looking at another edible treat that are worth nabbing if you’re in a hurry:
Horn of Plenty or the Trumpet of Death
Don’t let this mushroom’s ominous-sounding name deceive you – it’s actually a very safe one to eat.
A horn or funnelled-shaped mushroom with a rough, and crinkly dark brown cap, the horn of plenty can be found in the woods but especially in autumn. It can be found in North, Central and South America, as well as throughout Europe and Asia.
The mushrooms have no gills and their caps’ undersides will always be smooth or slightly wrinkled. They’re cousins to chanterelles and are often called “black chanterelles” given their similar shape.
Tasting far better than it looks, when cooked this mushroom can be made into a lovely mushroom sauce, added to a wild mushroom soup or used in a risotto. It has a rich and smoky taste and dries very well.
Horn of Plentys are delicious but unfortunately are not the easiest mushroom to find as they blend well into the woodland floor – so keep an eye out! They love hardwood forests, particularly if there are beech or oak trees around and also have a tendency to grow in clusters.
As with all foraged mushrooms, it’s vitally important that you can identify them with complete certainty before eating them.
Mushrooms are the type of food that prefer to breathe so if you’re foraging, it’s better to store them in a paper bag or basket rather than a plastic bag; if it smells rotten and soggy, don’t pick them up.