Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Wild Edible: Morels

I became interested in morels after reading some posts over at Blades and Bushcraft by a forum friend about them. I'm usually reluctant to gather mushrooms... I guess I'm just intimidated by the horror stories floating around. But some brief research quickly assuaged my apprehension; morels are quite easy to identify and difficult to confuse with "look-alikes."

So this spring I set out to "hunt" morels. This weekend was my second outing and I was able to find quite a few in an area with lots of cherry trees. Since I wasn't sure whether I'd like them I only gathered a hat's worth of morels.

Morel haul (4" pocket knife for scale)
 Preparation was a breeze: I rinsed, quartered and soaked them in salt water for a couple of hours.

Quartered and soaking in salted water

Cooking was equally easy: an egg wash, seasoned flour, and a skillet of hot butter was all that was needed. My impressions: they're fantastic! One of the few wild edibles that has lived up to its hype. My wife and friend also tried some (also their first time) and they were equally impressed. My buddy declared them "better than portabellos."

Pan fried in butter...delicious!!!

I now understand why morel hunters so carefully guard "their spots." The hunt can be quite difficult and the rewards quite delicious! I know I'll be out hunting again as soon as I'm able!

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