Where to Buy Horse Mushrooms UK

Where to Buy Horse Mushrooms UK

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Although you may not have heard a lot about horse mushrooms, they are actually quite a prolific variety of the fungi, especially in some parts of the UK. If you’re wondering where to buy horse mushrooms UK, however, I might have a little bit of bad news to share with you… 

What Are Horse Mushrooms?

Horse mushrooms are a type of mushroom that is commonly found in the wild across the UK. It can grow to quite a large size, both in width and height. 

The scientific name for horse mushrooms is: Agaricus arvensis.

Can You Eat Horse Mushrooms?

Yes, you can eat horse mushrooms. 

In fact, this is something I go into greater detail in, right here: Are Horse Mushrooms Edible?

Horse mushrooms are similar in some ways to portobello mushrooms, and they can be used in many of the same ways. Just as with other mushrooms, the horse mushroom doesn’t offer much in the way of interesting taste or flavour, but that’s one of the things that makes them so great: they are super versatile. 

Where to Buy Horse Mushrooms UK

I’ve actually done quite a lot of research into this, and I haven’t found the humble horse mushroom anywhere – not in any of the UK supermarkets, not on Amazon, and not anywhere else online. 

I have seen people say that they have purchased this type of mushroom from local markets, but I haven’t seen this with my own eyes. 

It is my opinion that this is a mushroom you would need to forage for, if you wanted to give it a try. 

Are Horse Mushrooms Edible?

How to Eat Horse Mushrooms

It is not recommended to eat horse mushrooms that have been foraged from the verges of busy roads. This is because of the potential for high levels of heavy metal build-up in the mushroom, as they easily absorb those compounds from the environment. 

Thankfully, horse mushrooms grow in a wide range of places, including fields, spruce tree areas, and pastures or meadows that contain horses or are fertilised by them. 

(In short, the horse mushroom really likes horse poop!) 

You will want to give horse mushrooms a quick wash before you use them, for obvious reasons. Be gentle with them, however. They are quite fragile and heavy hands will easily turn a beautiful mushroom into a mushy mess! 

Once washed, it’s time to cut your mushrooms. You will want to cut them in the appropriate way for your meal, or you can tear them up with your fingers, if you’re feeling particularly rustic. 

Horse mushrooms can be cooked in a wide variety of ways – steamed, sautéed, roasted, fried, and more. They are said to be very tasty in a risotto. Horse mushrooms also make a great alternative to portobello mushrooms – and a wild one! 

The horse mushroom doesn’t offer much in the way of flavour, although it does have a slightly aniseed scent to it, so it is perhaps best to serve up with a sauce, marinade, or similar. 

Alone, horse mushrooms, just like other mushrooms, can be rather bland and (dare I say it) boring.

What Does a Horse Mushroom Look Like?

You will want to be very careful when identifying horse mushrooms in the wild, because there are a couple of very unpleasant toxic mushrooms that actually look very similar to the horse mushroom. 

The cap of the horse mushroom – the top of it – can grow to a lot larger than most mushroom species. It frequently reaches up to 20cm across. In ideal conditions, can actually reach 30cm across and more. It does have quite a large range, however. 

Horse mushroom caps grow to between 8cm and 30cm in width. 

The cap itself starts off with the typical bulbous mushroom look. It would be easy to confuse it with a button mushroom in this state. It eventually grows out and flattens out, however. 

Colour-wise, the horse mushroom can be anywhere from brilliant, bright white to a beige-yellow shade. They tend to get yellower and less brilliant white as they age. Much older horse mushrooms can be almost brown in colour. 

In fact, a young horse mushroom does look quite different to a more mature horse mushroom. 

The gills are important to look at, and these can be what helps you to work out whether or not the mushroom in front of you is a safe-to-eat horse mushroom, or a not-safe-to-eat yellow stainer. On horse mushrooms, the gills start out as a very pale pink shade, almost blush-pink. Over time, as the mushroom ages, the pink turns darker, getting browner. 

Older horse mushrooms will have dark brown gills. 

If the gills are white, do not eat the mushroom. It is likely not a horse mushroom and could be a toxic yellow stainer mushroom. 

Where to Buy Horse Mushrooms UK

What is Horse Mushroom Flavour?

Horse mushrooms don’t really have a lot of flavour, just like a lot of other mushroom types. If there is a flavour, it is very earthy and woody. With the horse mushroom specifically, there is a slightly essence of aniseed, and this applies to the taste and the smell. 

Again, the smell of aniseed can help you to work out whether or not the mushroom in front of you is safe to eat. If you can smell a slight whiff of aniseed, it is likely a horse mushroom. If you can’t, you should double check the identity before attempting to cook or eat it. 

By Buzzy Kitchen

Lovers of food, owners of opinions, pleased to share!