Lion’s Mane

I joked recently that I wished third wave mushrooms was a thing in Berlin so that I could have access to a wider variety of wild and cultivated mushrooms. Seeing the exotic ones that are available in London made me envious. My envy heightened when Kristin and Sebastian gave me a cookbook titled Shrooms that has sections dedicated to mushrooms I‘ve never seen in person.

Well, yesterday, while visiting my favourite Saturday market, Boxhagener Platz, for the first time ages, I spotted a man selling mushrooms I’d never seen before, including ones that looks like cauliflower florets.

My hand for scale
My hand for scale

I bought €3.75 worth, which looked like enough for an indulgent snack for two, and wrote down the name, Igelstachelbart, which I understood to mean “hedgehog prickle beard” though that explains nothing. When I Googled the name, I learned I had bought what I had known as Lion’s Mane, though my specimens did not have the characteristic hanging hairs that I’d seen in any photographs.

Today, as a Sunday afternoon snack, I prepared them as simply as possible, frying them in salted butter using the recommended technique of crisping the edges. The texture was a lightly crispy dry exterior containing a very juicy slightly chewy inside with a delicate flavour. I would love to try these with scallops or lobster as suggested in Shrooms.

Check out this slideshow of the cooking process:

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