Trumpets of death

Today we are going to talk about a type of mushroom that is known by common names such as trumpets of death, trumpet of the dead, black trumpet, horn of plenty and the odd sinister name. Its scientific name is Craterellus cornuccopioides and it is one of the tastiest edible mushrooms that can be found. Although it has a rather sinister name, it is considered a good edible and is the protagonist in many dishes as a garnish and as a main ingredient.

In this article we are going to show you how you should differentiate the trumpets of death, where to find them and their main characteristics.

Main features

Since it is a mushroom considered as a great edible, it is well known and consumed in all the areas where it usually appears. This means that it has a wide range of popular names and that in each area it is known by a different name. All these names depend on the area where it is collected and it does not have too much difficulty. Some people call it a poor man’s truffle as it tastes delicious but is sold at a much cheaper price.

As its name suggests, it has a bumpy shape and is usually dark gray in color to black. There are some specimens that have a complete black color but they are less common. This makes it an easily identifiable species that can be collected by even the most novice in this world. It hardly has any appreciable confusion with other mushrooms, and much less poisonous, making it a totally safe picking.

Let’s analyze its characteristics. It has a hat that usually reaches 12 centimeters in diameter and with a color that depends on the degree of humidity and the state of the fungus in which it is at that time. If the fungus has a somewhat higher maturity and develops at higher humidity, we see how it has the blackest tones. On the other hand, younger specimens that have less humidity develop a more grayish color. It is a way of being able to differentiate more or less easily those young individuals from those more developed.

It has a very smooth cuticle with fine longitudinal streaks on some occasions. The edge of the cuticle is clearly lobed and has an irregular course. As expected, the name of this mushroom is due to its tumbled shape and that it has a hole inside that runs through the entire specimen to the foot. It does not have any type of foils. This makes it easily differentiated from other species of mushrooms, not only because of the color and the trumpet shape, but also because of the absence of blades.

Its meat is scarce and elastic although it has a great powerful flavor. This makes it one of the most consumed and used mushrooms in gastronomy.

Habitat of the trumpets of death

In order to search for the trumpets of death, we must know their habitat and area of ​​distribution. It can be collected to consume immediately or to collect them. They can be dehydrated to use the rest of the season in different ways.

In order to find a large number of specimens of trumpets of death we must look for very humid lands. They are mainly found in beech and oak forests with high humidity. They can normally develop and do develop near moss and lichens. These plants are able to give them the humidity they require to develop in good conditions. They can also be frequently found under decaying leaves.

As we mentioned in other articles, litter is a main and necessary component for the proper development of mushrooms. And it is that it favors the maintenance of the necessary humidity and the creation of new organic matter to maintain the fertility of the soil and allow the development of mushrooms. A good area to locate the trumpets of death are the walls of ravines or in peat bogs where there is a high degree of humidity and a large amount of decomposing organic matter.

The stage to search for the trumpets of death is mainly in autumn. However, it can also appear in late summer and extend its outings well into winter. This depends on the temperatures and rainfall that exists at all times. These mushrooms tolerate the cold very well, so low temperatures will not be a problem.

The wide and varied distribution area of ​​the peninsular forests means that there are many specialized stores selling wild mushrooms. It is here where we can buy them almost all year round. If we want to collect them ourselves, we just need to know the time of year and what we are going to mention later. It can be easily dehydrated with an electric food dehydrator for use throughout the season.

If we collect it, we must keep it refrigerated to consume the past several days at most. It is one of the most grateful mushrooms at harvest time.

How to collect death mushrooms

Finally, even picking these mushrooms is really sure if it has enough moisture to pull without breaking them. Note that they tend to grow in large groups and in large numbers. We find a good set of these trumpets, surely we are before one of the most beautiful mycological spectacles of nature.

You have to be careful to collect. If they resist we will only have to use a knife to extract them from the ground. In this way, we can clean the remains that have adhered dirt and not harm the mushroom.

As we have mentioned before, there is no confusion of this mushroom with another toxic species. Its peculiar trumpet shape with its homogeneous color makes it one of the most particular mushrooms of this kingdom. This means that its collection can be carried out even by the most novices in this world.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the trumpets of death.

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