Morel Mushrooms.Welcome to the wild world of morel mushrooms. These elusive and expensive mushrooms are only grown in the wild, making them a hot commodity among chefs and mushroom enthusiasts alike. Each spring, foragers (aka mushroom hunters) hit the wilderness to harvest these decadent mushrooms for use in fancy restaurants or to sell at local farmers’ markets.
How do you cook these delicate fungi? What do they taste like? Learn everything you need to know about these springtime mushrooms, including how to cook with them. Read on to find out, plus get top-rated morel mushroom recipes.
What Are Morel Mushrooms?
Morel mushrooms, or just morels, are a highly desired ingredient among chefs and mushroom enthusiasts. The reason? They’re only grown in the wild, unlike farmed mushrooms you’ll find in the grocery store (crimini, portobello, oyster, etc.).
Although there have been efforts to cultivate morels, they’re extremely difficult to farm, meaning they must be foraged and harvested from where they naturally grow. Morels are usually found in wooded areas throughout North America and Europe. Warm and wet conditions are best for growing morel mushrooms.
Morels vary greatly in size and appearance. Their shape can range from oblong to bulbous, and their color from blonde to gray. They are easy to distinguish by their exterior, which resembles a honeycomb. The inside of morel is white and hollow.
Like many types of mushrooms, morels have doppelgängers — but they can be deadly. Beware of false morels, which includes a number of species that look similar but are actually poisonous. False morels are reddish-brown to yellow in color, with a cap that hangs to one side. They’re also not hollow on the inside, like real morels. If you’re foraging for morels, be sure to do so with an experienced guide.
Morel Mushrooms are considered top-tier mushrooms, due to their depth and earthy, nutty flavor. They also have a meaty texture, unlike the more slimy texture of other mushroom varieties. For these reasons, even mushroom haters will enjoy morels.
Why Are Morel Mushrooms So Expensive?
So here’s the catch when it comes to morel mushrooms: they’re expensive. Really expensive. A pound of morels can cost a lot. There are a few reasons for this:
- They’re hard to cultivate. But you already know this. For this reason, they are mostly foraged from the wild, meaning your morels were hand-picked by someone who traveled a great distance to harvest them. psychedelic mushrooms
- They have a short growing season. Morels are spring mushrooms that can be found between March and June, depending on climate, weather, and elevation.
- They’re highly perishable. Because morels are hollow, they don’t hold up well in transport, so getting them to the market can be difficult. psychedelic mushrooms
Where to Buy or Find Morels
One of the first signs of spring is the sudden sightings of morels from March through June. While you can always go on a morel hunt, odds are you’ll prefer to buy them rather than find them. You may be able to find morels at your local farmers’ market or specialty stores. You can also find them online. psychedelic mushrooms
Fresh Morel Mushrooms have a short growing season, so be sure to check back in late winter or early spring to see what’s available. However, dried morels and frozen morels are available year-round. psychedelic mushrooms