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The Horn of Plenty (Craterellus cornucopioides), 2015 Mushroom of the Year


The horn of plenty is very different looking from other types of mushrooms, but is unmistakable and often appears en masse. Its spicy aroma is said to be similar to the truffle. The small, 4-12 cm tall and 3-8 cm diameter cap mushrooms display a distinct funnel or horn form. The empty horn tapers downward. The mushrooms tend to be grey-brown inside, and blue-grey or grey-brown-black on the outside. In wet weather they appear blacker, while in drier weather they seem lighter. The skin has very small scales or fibres. The flesh of the horn of plenty is thin and very fragile. Fresh, the taste and aroma is not very strong, but when dried they have a very spicy aroma.

The mushrooms may be found from July through October in the acidic soils of deciduous and pine forests. Beech and oak root systems are particularly friendly environments. It is not uncommon to find groups of 3-10-15 horn of plenty connected at a base, and even occasional groups of 20-50 covering an area of several square meters.

Known popularly as “the poor man’s truffle,” these mushrooms when dried, make a fine cooking spice.

Source: Fischer Antal http://www.zoldmuzeum.hu/az-ev-gombaja-2015-ben-a-sotet-trombitagomba

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