Perfect to the mushroom-hunting beginner, morels are fun to discover! With a little practice, finding one out of the corner of your eye is a fun experience.
Morel mushrooms: Their lovely neutral colors allow them to blend in well with the foliage that they tend to like to grow within (they like to grow under objects on the forest floor, such as decomposing leaves or wood scraps, because of the dampness.)
I find many in areas that were recently logged or had fires in the previous year or two.
They like south facing hillsides, and will typically be in the sunniest patches, where the ground is warmest. Morels can be found all over the Northern Hemisphere, especially in North America, though they also grow in Asia and Europe and are found as far south as Central America.
Black morels generally appear about two weeks prior to the yellow morels. I think they both taste similar. Black morels tend to be just slightly more robust in flavor. Caps are tightly attached to the stem. Cut lengthwise it will be hollow from bottom of stem to top of cap.
How to Harvest Morels
Start looking for morels:
- In the springtime.
- After day temperatures reach the 60’s and nights hit 40F or higher.
- After a few rainy days.
This means that in warmer climates they may start making an appearance in March, and in colder climates it may be well into June.
True morels are hollow on the inside.
IMPORTANT: There are false morels that are NOT edible – those caps are wrinkled not pitted and the cap hangs freely over the stem. There are recorded deaths from people eating false morels. Please study up, learn how to differentiate true morels from false morels prior to foraging for them. I highly recommend this mushroom guide!
How to Eat Morels
Sought after in the culinary realm, morel mushrooms are delicious in many things. Get creative. Incorporate them into every meal, if you wish. Morels are nutty, meaty, and unique whether cooked or dried, but I strongly believe there is no substitute for butter for bringing out its subtle yet treasured characteristics.
Some of my favorite morel recipes:
These links open in a new window and are written by some talented home chefs/foragers!
- Fried Morel Mushrooms
- Pan Fried Morel Mushrooms
- Boyd’s 100 Dollar Morel Soup
- Morel Ice Cream
- Rabbit With Morels and Nettle Gnocchi
Do YOU have a favorite morel recipe? Share it in the comment section below!!!