The sweet tooth (Hydnum repandum) is basidiomycete mushroom of the Hydnaceae family. It is common in Asia, North America, Australia and Europe. This mushroom is available in supermarkets in Mexico and Canada. It also goes by the names wood hedgehog and hedgehog mushroom. In Russia, it is known as the ежовик желтый.
The cap of the sweet tooth is colored white or yellow. It is distinguished by its irregular shape. While young it is slightly curled but with time it becomes flat. Its diameter can reach up to 6″ (15 cm). It has a dry surface, and small cracks are even visible in older specimens. The cylindrical, white-colored stem can reach a height of 3″ (8 cm).
The flesh of Hydnum repandum is white and actually begins to yellow in older representatives of the species. It is edible but slightly bitter to the taste. It is thick and firm, yet brittle, possessing a subtle characteristic smell. The lamella of sweet tooth are like spines. They cover the underside of the cap and are white in color. They are relatively easy to remove from the mushroom flesh. When the mushrooms are still young, these spines are almost unnoticeable.
Picking Sweet Tooth
Picking sweet tooth, as well as other mushrooms, must be done by experienced mushroom pickers only. The danger of mistaking it for another is not high but this must not be underestimated.
The season for collecting this type of mushroom starts in June and ends in October, when temperatures begin dropping. Sweet tooth thrives in deciduous forests, as well as in coniferous forests. It is found by itself or in groups, sprouting up from the earth. Usually it is seen around shady trees.
Sweet tooth would be hard to mistake for another species, due to its characteristic spines. Even so, there are species that can fool inexperienced mushroom pickers. For example, the so-called terracotta hedgehog, H. Rufescens, which also has spines, can be seen in the same areas as Hydnum repandum. The terracotta hedgehog differs from sweet tooth with its smaller fruit body. Additionally, the caps and spines of that species are colored orange. The terracotta hedgehog is also picked and eaten.
Other species with spines are Auriscalpium vulgare and Creolophus cirrhatus. The former is brown colored with a tiny fruit body. It was consumed in the past but nowadays it is avoided by pickers. Creolophus cirrhatus is found along the stumps of deciduous trees. It is not poisonous but it's not usually eaten either.
Cooking Sweet Tooth
Sweet tooth flesh is fit for consumption. As already stated, it does not possess a particular smell but does have a slight bitter tinge. It is also nutritious and delicious. To prepare it correctly, some points need to be followed. Hydnum repandum is suitable for eating while the flesh is fresh and therefore white. When it has aged, it should no longer have a spot at your dinner table.
Before cooking, the cap of the mushroom needs to have its spines removed, thus reducing the bitterness. After the mushroom is cleaned, it needs to be cooked for an extended period. To get rid of the bitter aftertaste, some chefs boil the flesh with lemon juice.
The mushroom is most suitable for frying and boiling. It can be added to various oven baked dishes, stews and soups. A positive side to its packed flesh is that it does not shrink significantly after heat treatment. Use of sweet tooth is highly popular in French cuisine.
It can play the role of a main dish but can also be used as a garnish to meat products or fish. It can be seasoned with all kinds of sauces (spicy ones are a perfect choice) and is added to salads. In Russia, the mushroom is usually eaten fried, in combination with onions and cream.
Check out this recipe with sweet tooth which is incredibly suitable for people who want to strengthen their immune system:
Products: Clean the mushrooms and wash them. Parboil them in boiling salted water. Add a little lemon juice. Then drain them and braise them in heated oil until fully softened. Put them in a bowl and mix them with the diced avocado and cream. Add the chopped onions, parsley and dill. Put in the sprouts. Season and stir well.
Benefits of Sweet Tooth
It turns out that the sweet tooth has a wide range of healthy properties. It is successful in overcoming staphylococcus and other similar bacteria. In Chinese folk medicine, they make a myriad of elixirs from it, as well as compresses. According to folk healers, the infusion prepared from this amazing mushroom has the capability of healing even the deepest and most prolonged depression.
The consumption of sweet tooth strengthens the body overall, but especially helps the nervous and respiratory systems. It also improves the function of the gastrointestinal tract. In some countries, they make pomades from the mushroom, which are then put on the affected area. They have a nourishing and rejuvenating effect.