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Mycology: the trumpet of death

By: Reading Time: 2 Minutes
Next Article A taste for change

At first glance, this edible mushroom is rather off-putting to laymen due to its sooty grey to black color. But this reluctance disappears once the trumpet of death mushroom hits the taste buds.

That is when the full aroma of this local delicacy is unleashed, and its characteristic horn shape also makes it visually striking. Lucas Steindorfer from the Viennese restaurant Bruder is well aware of the positive attributes of this taste sensation.
He prefers to use trumpet of death mushrooms, also called horn of plenty, in a simple, purist way in egg dishes or added to reginetti with plenty of butter and a little parmesan and parsley. The mushrooms are also great when featured in a trumpet of death fricassee. Steindorfer’s tip for preparing them: “Since there is usually dirt in the middle of the mushroom, they must be cut in half and thoroughly washed.”


This highly aromatic edible variety of mushroom is available fresh at markets seasonally for around 25 euros per kilogram (2.2 pounds). If you order it dried over the Internet, it can cost up to four times as much. Mushroom collectors gather their supplies from the forest and are careful not to pick a poisonous look-alike. The best time to collect them is in September.

Flavor & nutrients

The mushroom has a distinctly earthy, mossy taste; in contrast to its yolk-colored relative (0.31 μg/100 g/3.5 oz), it also has a comparatively high content of vitamin B12 (0.73 μg/100 g/3.5 oz). Other beneficial properties include a high natural colorant content (beta-carotene and lycopene), and rich mineral content (1.7 g per 100 g/0.6 oz per 3.5 oz). Another plus is that the mushrooms have only ten calories per 100 grams (3.5 ounces).

Enjoyment in stock

For those who do not want to forgo this mushroom during the colder months, this delicacy can be preserved. Drying, preserving in salt, vinegar or oil, ensiling or freezing – each method allows you to enjoy the mushrooms outside their season.

mushroom for cooking and eating in a restaurant

Image: Rational

Mushrooms & wine

The perfect match for a mushroom dish is a smooth Chardonnay (with a touch of wood). Wines with sharp acidity, high minerality or tannins are not recommended. When combined with trumpet of death mushrooms, they leave behind a metallic aftertaste on the palate.
For meals featuring the trumpet of death, Sommelier Daniel Schicker (Mühltalhof) recommends the Chardonnay Opok 2018 by Roland Tauss from Leutschach. “This is a very deep wine, shaped by the Opok soil,” he explains. “It is unfiltered and has a little sulphur added.” However, the Beaujolais Villages Blanc from the organic winery Desjourneys in southern Burgundy would also fit the bill.

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