Do People Eat Hedgehogs?

Justin All Recipes, General 64 Comments

Yes, it’s true, people really do eat hedgehogs!  According to Larousse Gastronomique, hedgehog was commonly consumed in 16th century France, but now “it is eaten only by gypsies, who either roast it or stew it.”1  Apparently the preferred method is to wrap the hedgehog in wet clay before roasting or stewing.  As the clay hardens it adheres to the hedgehog’s quills, and pulls them out when removed.

Personally, I beg to differ with this revered tome of culinary knowledge.  Firstly, because I believe the people in question prefer “Roma” or “Romani” to “gypsy,” and second in that the Roma people aren’t the only ones who eat hedgehogs.  Hedgehogs are delicious, and everyone should try them at least once…even vegetarians can fall in love with their tender flesh and rich buttery flavor.


Wait, we were talking about fresh hedgehog mushrooms, weren’t we?  That’s certainly what I was talking about…maybe Larousse had something else in mind.

In any case, hedgehog mushrooms, named for the tiny (soft, not sharp) spines that they have instead of quills, are an underappreciated wild mushroom that is in season from December to January.  While they’re often used in casseroles, soups, and stews, around here we love to simply sauté them in a little butter…maybe with some very finely minced garlic and/or white wine.

That’s really all it takes to make wild hedgehogs delicious, no clay required.

Sign up for our Wild Season Notification Mailing List to get monthly e-mails letting you know when these and other wild products are in season.  Availability can fluctuate quite a bit, as wild produce and mushrooms come and go as Mother Nature pleases, so it pays to be the first in the know when wild foods like Oregon white truffles, fresh black trumpet mushrooms, and fiddlehead ferns show up.

1 2001 edition, pg 602

Comments 64

  1. I just love mushroom soup. Some shallots, garlic, some mushrooms (a couple of kinds), cook for a little bit, some white wine, broth, cook for awhile and then put in the blender. Back on the heat and if you want to be really indulgent add some cream. Enjoy with some good bread.

  2. I use fresh mushrooms in 80% of all the homemade dishes I make! Love them best in omlets and in my homemade cream sauces (which is the basis for my cream of Mushroom soup, in addition to my sauces for over rice and pasta)

  3. I always enjoy a good mushroom soup or mushroom omelet. My soups usually include a bit of onion, some potatoes, and carrots, but I’ve been known to add hamburger and tomatoes as well.

  4. I love mushrooms in just about anything but lately have been craving a good mushroom quiche. I think the Hedgehog mushrooms would be perfect for this!

  5. Working up recipes for the holidays and the addition of Hedgehog mushrooms will make it even more challenging — translation: “opportunity to make something tasty.”

    Of late I’ve been playing with chanterelle mushrooms and game. With the final tomatoes of the season just over — I’ll morn the combination of roasting a handful of those sweet small tomato varieties with chanterelles, all served on a bed of farro with slices smoked and grilled duck breast a top.

  6. Ok the best mushroom dish of all time is called tartufata: a thin slice of toast is topped w asiago cheese (melt it) then finished w chopped wild mushrooms (first sauteed, then tossed w white truffle olive oil) garnished w chopped parsley. To try tartufata, go to via quadronno on E. 73rd St. btw. Madison & 5th Ave in Manhattan. truly amazing!!


  7. I like mushrooms mixed with french-style string beans, sliced potatoes, ground beef and cream of mushroom soup! Add a salad and a slice of french bread and you have some good eats! Comfort food, good and heart and warm on a cold Autumn night! Yum!

    Thanks for the entry!


  8. Sauteed mushrooms.

    I buy Baby Bella Mushrooms, slice them in thin slices and sautee them in olive oil. As they’re sauteeing, I add a pinch of salt.

    Easy and delicious. (If you wanted to, you could pour eggs over the sauteed mushrooms and scramble or make an omelet!)


  9. I love stuffed mushrooms! Spinach, crab, stuff them with anything and I’ll eat them. Also like a simple mushroom and swiss hamburger. Which is what I am having for dinner tonight!

  10. Do you think I can get lucky twice? 🙂

    The two dishes I did not get to make with your mushrooms the first time around are mushroom risotto and marinated mushrooms: so taht would be the plan.

  11. We love mushrooms, either plain and raw or sauteed with a little butter, garlic and wine, another favorite dish is a risotto or an all mushroom stroganoff. Discovered Abalone mushrooms last year, so good, meaty and unique flavor!

  12. Oh, my, how we love mushrooms at our house.
    Nothing better than a caramelized onion and mushroom pizza — made with homemade sourdough crust and embellished with nothing more than a bit of high quality cheese.

    Never had a hedgehog, but I’d welcome the chance!

  13. I cannot tell you how excited i am because ive had hedgehog/monkey head mushrooms at buddhist asian restaurants and absolutely LOVE them! I also like morel mushrooms.

  14. The Portabello mushroom sandwich my boyfriend made last night with carmelized onions and queso fresco, mmm!

  15. It’s raining right now in Seattle. And cold. I’m thinking of a puff pastry basket filled with sauteed chanterells in a creamy thyme sauce. Delicious!

  16. I like creamed mushroom sauce over fresh steamed vegetables. I’ve never even heard of hedgehog mushrooms, but I’m sure they are delicious, I’ve never met a mushroom I didn’t like.

  17. My favorite way is to have mushrooms on my pizza or in an omelet.
    My husband loves Morel mushrooms.

  18. I love mushroom soup. I’ll make giant batches and freeze it to eat it for breakfast (with an egg!), lunch (with cheese), and dinner (with salad and bread).

    I also love this mushroom casserole my mother makes. It’s basically a creamed mushroom casserole, topped with seasoned bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Sounds very retro and silly, I know, but it’s delicious.

  19. My favorite is really simple. I take onions, saute in butter, add button mushrooms, when done I simple pour mixture over angel hair spaghetti.

  20. My favourite was mushrooms stuffed with marinated paneer (Indian cottage cheese) with spices and grilled. I serve them as an appetizer and everyone always asks for more

  21. I love morels, sauteed in butter, with a nice steak. Sorry it’s so simple, but I’m honestly salivating at the thought, and feeling very sorry for myself that it’s been 2 seasons since we were able to find any morels.
    I’m very interested to try other shrooms, but am scared to forage for anything but morels.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  22. I would really like to win these mushrooms I love to cook with them and this would be awesome!

  23. I use fresh mushrooms all the time. I tried dried once, but it seems a little hard to refresh them. I love mushrooms sauteed in garlic butter, then laced with some wine and parsley, served over steak.

    I also like them grilled. They make great sandwiches!

  24. I like lots of mushrooms sauteed with onions and piled high on my cheeseburger or Philly Cheese steak. Yum!

  25. when I am not sauteeing them in butter and pouring the whole lot over toast or putting them in omeletes or mixing them in fresh pasta dough or including them in some risotto then I will make a nice thick rich mushroom soup!

  26. Start with melted, clarified butter and saute some mushrooms… and frequently that’s as far as I get until the shrooms are all nibbled away. Survivors might end up topping a crostini, filling a crepe purse, accompanying pasta or topping eggs or grilled steak.

  27. My grandma makes a killer baked stuffed-mushroom appetizer with cream cheese, sausage, and Italian seasonings. 🙂 My dad’s sauteed wild mushrooms in butter induce drooling. 🙂

  28. My favorite mushroom dish is spinach and mushrooms. You saute each one with lots of butter and some garlic and then combine them. Yum!!


  29. Question,
    I want to no if I run a hedgehog over Kant I pick it up cook it and eating,
    Like roadkill stew

  30. Hi Katie,

    We don’t know. As a rule, we don’t recommend consuming roadkill. If you decide to do so though, let us know how it goes!


  31. Stop eating hedgehogs! They will surely all die if people continue eating small defenseless animals! They already are dying from lack of homes, they are going to die

  32. DON’T EAT HEDGEHOGS! I have a hedgehog as a pet and he is the most cutest thing alive! Hedgehogs should NOT be used as food! Nobody in America should ever be considering eating Hedgehogs! The thing is that it should be against the law in every country in the world to be able to eat hedgehogs!!!????☹️

  33. Hi Marissa,

    Worry not! We agree that hedgehogs are adorable. The only hedgehogs we’re advocating eating are Hedgehog Mushrooms (so called because of the “quills” they have under their caps instead of the usual gills).

    Marx Foods

  34. Phew! I am so relieved that you are talking about hedgehog mushrooms! I will love to try them some day in a omelet or soup! thanks you so much for letting me know that you dont actually eat real live hedgehogs

  35. Phew! I am so relieved that you are talking about hedgehog mushrooms! I will love to try them some day in a omelet or soup! thanks you so much for letting me know that you dont actually eat real live hedgehogs

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