Morel Mushrooms - Wild Harvest Delight
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Morel Mushrooms (Morchella conica, M. angusticeps and M. esculenta) are probably the best known wild-harvest edible mushroom, at least in America. They have been known and enjoyed by people around the world for millenia. Their distinctive appearance sets them apart from other common mushrooms. The incricate honey-comb cap, in colors ranging from a creamy hue to a deep ebony, is recognized by foodies and wild mushroom hunters alike. (Caution: Don't make any assumptions if you are gathering from the wild. There are other wild mushrooms that may look quite a bit like a morel, but are not edible.)

In many locations in North America from the Mid-Atlantic states, through the upper-Midwest to the Pacific coast, harvesters fan out in search of the elusive morel.From late-March to late May and sometimes into June, people try to fill their fresh morel mushroom cravings for the year. Beyond the wild-harvest season, savvy gourmands use dried morels. Dried Morels are especially valued for their intense flavor, more concentrated than in the fresh mushroom.

Dried morels will keep for months without refrigeration, and for a year or more if frozen. To reconstitute dried morel mushrooms, place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for one-half hour. The reconstituted morels will have a soft texture and double the flavor of fresh morels. Reserve the water for soup or stock. Strain to remove any small bits of grit. Chop the reconstituted morel mushrooms for use in your favorite morel mushroom recipe.

 
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The Best Spring Mushroom

"Morels and Truffles are the aristocrats of the forest - The wild morels have a great flavor complexity and are more interesting to me. A lot of it is because of the hunt... Both because of the thrill of the hunt with morels, and also because people are back in the woods. Life has begun again. So morels are as much a symbol of the beginning of Spring, a resurgence of life."

Jack Czarnecki
"The Cook's Book of Mushrooms"




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