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B Edulis

Hunting for Mushrooms in Morel Season

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A little plug for Alan Bessette, he has a new book Mushrooms of the Southeastern US coming out April 30, if you live anywhere from Florida to NC, over to and including some of Texas I think.

*edited to add that I saw my first little brown mushroom today :smile:


Edited by coquus (log)

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Yesterday was a Verpa day, the first of the season which shows how late thinfs are in the PNW. Normally these first of the helvelas start showing about April Fools' Day in the NW.

Last night it was false morels topping off toast with asparagus and a poached egg and some fresh tarragon

At $3.25-a-gallon for gas for the "hunt" this meal was probably as expensive as a truffled one would have been.

Dave

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Yesterday was a Verpa day, the first of the season which shows how late thinfs are  in the PNW.  Normally these first of the helvelas start showing about April Fools' Day in the NW.

  Last night it was false morels topping off toast with asparagus and a poached egg and some fresh tarragon

    At $3.25-a-gallon for gas  for the "hunt" this meal was probably as expensive as a truffled one would have been.

Dave

Are you really eating false morels? :shock: You know these are toxic?

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Yesterday was a Verpa day, the first of the season which shows how late thinfs are  in the PNW.  Normally these first of the helvelas start showing about April Fools' Day in the NW.

   Last night it was false morels topping off toast with asparagus and a poached egg and some fresh tarragon

    At $3.25-a-gallon for gas  for the "hunt" this meal was probably as expensive as a truffled one would have been.

Dave

Are you really eating false morels? :shock: You know these are toxic?

Some people are more susceptible to them than others. It's not exactly an allergy, but more of a personal reaction. For example, my grandmother can eat them any way that's cooked, but not raw; my dad can't even eat one. I've never tried because there's no real way to tell if you can handle them or not, and there's no way I want to 'enjoy' the horribly long bathroom visits that can occur :wacko: . I do know of a few people that sell them at farmers' markets and things around here. I think also, if you have weakened immune systems, the're bad (kids, old people and those with other illnesses), but the average person might not react at all.


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I, and people arround me, had ate them for years - and consumed wine at the same time - with out reaction.

I also see some of our better produce stores carrying Verpas and labeling them as morels. I have been in resturants in Oregon where they were served and on the menu as morels.

I think they are like any other wild mushroom: make sure they are cooked, be positive in your ID and start with small quanities. I also eat saddle mushrooms and have, but longer, cosmumed calf's brains. I have ate raw boletes in France, but would not do it here.

We just had more verpas for lunch today in a rice, chicken and verpa soup.

Dave

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I, and people arround me, had ate them for years - and consumed wine at the same time - with out reaction.

  I also see some of our better produce stores carrying Verpas and labeling them as morels.  I have been in resturants in Oregon where they were served and on the menu  as morels.

  I think they are like any other wild mushroom:  make sure they are cooked,  be positive in your ID and start with small quanities.  I also eat saddle mushrooms and have, but longer, cosmumed calf's brains.  I have ate raw boletes in France, but would not do it here.

  We just had more verpas for lunch today in a rice, chicken and verpa soup.

Dave

Ok... what you call fasle morels are mushrooms in the verpas familly... I know a few people eating them as well but they should still be considered slightly toxic, especially in large quantities or over long periods.

I thought you were talking about some of the gyromitra varieties which we all call false morels here. They are also eaten by some but cause more than a few visits to the hospital every years and can potentially be deadly...

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Ok... what you call fasle morels are mushrooms in the verpas familly... I know a few people eating them as well but they should still be considered slightly toxic, especially in large quantities or over long periods.

I thought you were talking about some of the gyromitra varieties which we all call false morels here. They are also eaten by some but cause more than a few visits to the hospital every years and can potentially be deadly...

Yeah, Bessette says the Gyromitra esculenta contain hydrazines, which can be deadly. It looks similar to the fastigata which some people eat.

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I am so disapointed ...I was unable to go hunting for morels as planned ...life just kept getting in my way darn it! ... but did some local hunting...found a nice bunch of shaggy manes that I dipped in breadcrumbs and deep fried...I just love those!!! they are so overlooked and perishable but worth the effort if you can get them home quickly and cook them before they turn to a liquidy mess ! ...I have also dried them... ground them up into a powder and used them in sauces but really the best way to do it is just run home and cook them I think... and deep fried with breading is my favorite! ... it reminds me of eating fried oysters but as much as I love oysters ..I love mushrooms even more!

I also found a HUGE bunch of prince but they were right at the foot of a dog walking tree in our neighborhood ..blech :raz:

I was disapointed in my fallen oyster mushroom tree not bearing any this spring usually every year I get at least a meals worth off it and this year ..nadda ...I will keep checking but the time has almost passed for them to pop out and there was not even a bud on the tree...

I spent an evening holding someones head while they puked verpa's that was enough to turn me off of them ..I am all about risk..and will try almost any mushroom any time ..but really hate the idea of puking ..so with all the mushrooms out there I can eat with out risking it I will pass and you can have my share!

I am glad you can enjoy them with out the awful effects


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I also found a HUGE bunch of prince but they were right at the foot of a dog walking tree in our neighborhood ..blech

Your Prince patch must be the same as mine. I priced some of the prettest little Princes under a Sequoia that dogs (including mine) were lifting their legs on. 'shrooms had that nice almond smell and I dropped them in a frying pan with hot walnut oil for a quick cook, but when I sampled once they didn't have that nice fresh Prince taste so I pitched the skillet full. Might add that this is the earliest I have seen Prince in the PNW.

The oysters I have clipped are very buggy and wormy, as are most Spring mushrooms eon the west side of the Cascades.... and o'yes, them slugs love our Puget Sound morels.

Dave

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I also found a HUGE bunch of prince but they were right at the foot of a dog walking tree in our neighborhood ..blech

Your Prince patch must be the same as mine. I priced some of the prettest little Princes under a Sequoia that dogs (including mine) were lifting their legs on. 'shrooms had that nice almond smell and I dropped them in a frying pan with hot walnut oil for a quick cook, but when I sampled once they didn't have that nice fresh Prince taste so I pitched the skillet full. Might add that this is the earliest I have seen Prince in the PNW.

The oysters I have clipped are very buggy and wormy, as are most Spring mushrooms eon the west side of the Cascades.... and o'yes, them slugs love our Puget Sound morels.

Dave

I wonder if your tree and my tree were the same tree that would be kind of funny!

I always think I know when the prince are coming and then they fool me! ...there was this amazing spot near a park in a pee free zone (more or less) that produced spectacular prince amost all year every year for many years at various intervals ..then it stopped..

...honestly...with all my heart I wanted to pick the ones by the pee tree they looked wonderful and I just love the prince.....but then I figured with a mushroom being over 90% water if many dogs are peeing on it then lots of pee probably gets into them ..but that is my theory not science I will eat LOTS of things ..and if I had not seen all the dogs peeing (including mine too) I would not have hesitated....but knowing they have pee just really kind of turns me off ...

Slugs love everything around my house!!! this year they are out in full force!!! ...and when I find them on a mushroom I chuck the darn things as far as I can...I dont mind a few maggots in my shrooms I just cut around the obvious ones....unless they are a puddle (and as you know sometimes they are!) I will find something to eat ...but it is so disapointing when the bugs get to them before I do ...I dont mind sharing but come on there are times I am at a HUGE disavantage!

when I hunt boletes in the fall I have taken to drying them before I go home ..right on the campfire on a rack I smoke/dry them with alder (while of course I cook some up to eat on the spot!) or another hardwood the smoke does nothing but enhance them when you rehydrate then.. the aroma is to die for and they are just smokey enough to make your dishes so wonderful ..with out changing the character of the mushroom..and it is practical ....it only took one year of bringing my find home from the mountains only to find a huge puddle of mush in my basket to teach me that lesson ..it also gets that are in there ..out!

I may have to try to go find some morels this week (although our weather is suposed to be turning..if it is not too bad I will go anyway) ..on my days off ...there is just nothing like hunting them ..it is so fun.... ok except eating them :biggrin:

I love morels simply sauted in butter and then into scrambled double yolk (if I am lucky) ...for some reason that is the way I have to have my first haul...if I have a haul!

each mushroom has its best meal I think ...

how do you all like your morels prepared?


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I love morels simply sauted in butter and then into scrambled double yolk (if I am lucky)  ...for some reason that is the way I have to have my first haul...if I have a haul!

each mushroom has its best meal I think ...

how do you all like your morels prepared?

For some reasons, I only cook morels in sauces or as garnishes... I love the way the can perfume some sauces.

I am curious to see how you cook them because frankly I feel like I am not too adventurous with my mushroom although I did try a candied morel creme brule once as well as tea candied jelly tooth.

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Magictofu I would love to share some of the ways I enjoy

I love to eat them as mentioned with scrambled eggs second to that I make them into a risooto with rosemary and parm magic!

yes in sauces!!! all types I like to use them when they are the front and center of course

very light dusting of flour and deep fry fresh morels until crispy! fantastic!

when I am lucky enough to just be able to be a glutton with them ...I love them saute'd in butter on thick sliced toasted sour dough (in a sandwich)

other wild mushrooms (these are just a few ideas)

a basic cream of wild mushroom soup is one of my favorite foods ..with a shot of fresh cracked pepper butter and sherry in it right before serving

I also dry wild mushrooms to either rehydrate and use or if they are fragile like shaggy manes or shaggy parasols ..grind them into a powder and use as a seasoning for roasting, soups, sauce ..whatever

chanterelles for me my first pile of them has to just be dry sauted with a little butter tossed in at the end ...a huge pile of them on a plate with a local microbrew and maybe a piece of bread

fried chicken mushrooms

slice thin dip in the same spicy coating you would use on chicken and deep fry ..then serve with drizzled honey on it

I better stop ...I could just type endlessly about ideas for preparing and using wild mushrooms


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Most wild mushrooms have an affinity or nuteral meats such as chicken and pork with lots of cream and butter.

When I find what I call "wildcat" morels - burn morels the size of your fist - I like to remove the stems, take them chop them with some shallots, saute in buttler, them mix with some Panko crums, stuff them back into the two halfs and run them under the broiler for 3 minutes or so.

Almost any wild mushrom is great in a souce made with small amount of a salty ham, such as good Black Forest, shallots and chopped morels, sauted in butter, reduced with a little white wine and then topped with heacvy cream. That goes well in pastry shells or over a pasta.

If we can come up with some "native" morels - the thumb sized ones that come back year-after-year - we will probably saute them in buttter and serve them over asparagus as a side dish at Mothers' Day brunch.

Just remember: mushrooms (with perhaps the exeception of matustakies) love butter and cream; how bad in our diet ridden days.

Dave

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As the rain and the turkey hunting season is limiting my foraging today, I can only dream of different dishes to cook with my future finds. I usually use my really nicely flavored wild mushrooms for flavoring the fat in any dishes. I guess I will never understand why people eat these types of mushrooms raw, they are too precious to me, I want to extend their flavor as much as possible.

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As the rain and the turkey hunting season is limiting my foraging today, I can only dream of different dishes to cook with my future finds.  I usually use my really nicely flavored wild mushrooms for flavoring the fat in any dishes.  I guess I will never understand why people eat these types of mushrooms raw, they are too precious to me, I want to extend their flavor as much as possible.

Agree with you... especially considering that raw morels are slightly toxic :wink:

I had some really good result with a morel butter sauce I made for valentine day this year using some of my dried morels from last year. But the classic morel cream sauce, although a bit out of fashion, is still, in my mind, one of the easiest and most delicious way to savour these little wonders.

I had less interesting results with brown sauces though.

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I went out in the woods today to see if I could find anything. This is not one of my usual spots and I did'nt find anything. In fact, I only found a gyromita... nothing else. We have a late spring this year and the weather has been really dry so it might not be a very good year for morels aroud here.

Looking for mushrooms carrying a newborn with you proved to be another challenge. It does restrict our choice of itinerary but it is far from impossible which makes me very happy and exited about the new mushrooming season! :biggrin:

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I have found exactly two mushrooms this year, a fawn, and a little brown one. I went out again today with no luck. I keep looking for the trees that will yeild morels, but I haven't seen that many. I'm sure they are around by now, it hit 80 today, somewhere :hmmm:

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I finally went to my usual spots today and found a few morels, some huge ones. Most of my yellow morels spots were either non-producing or are very late. Spring took its time to arrive and was fairly dry. I am hoping to find more soon.

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gallery_52525_4458_59379.jpg

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Where did you find those, I seriously have been looking for them here and haven't found even one yet. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any elm trees here, and the old apple trees seem to be confined to low lying washed out areas and fields with lots of high grass. The times I have found them were in neither area however, so maybe I'm going about everything wrong.

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Where did you find those, I seriously have been looking for them here and haven't found even one yet.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen any elm trees here, and the old apple trees seem to be confined to low lying washed out areas and fields with lots of high grass.  The times I have found them were in neither area however, so maybe I'm going about everything wrong.

I found most of them along trails but also near ponds (not affected by this spring dryness?). The lighter yellow ones were all found under poplar trees.

Around here, morels tends to grow under poplar trees... not elm trees... or at least I have never found them under elm trees.

As for black morels, they are harder to find but here they seem to prefer fir and spruce trees.

This is only my third season so my experience is limited... there might be other good places to look for them.

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I found some yellow's last year near mountain ash, and four years ago under a hickory, but I have yet to find a good patch.

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I found a crazy amount (for me) of morels the other day after the first warm rain of the season (I'm up in Ontario). I've been hunting that area for years and only ever found, like, 5 or 6 there. But this year - bonanza! A grocery bag full!

First meal was seared ribeye steaks served with a sauce of morels sauteed with wild green onions, then cooked down with a bit of brandy and finished with cream. Heavenly. Second meal was linguine with a very similar sauce, only made with white wine instead of the brandy and a bit of Parmesan added at the end. Killer. I gave a few away for a deserving friend. And now I await another rain.

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I found a crazy amount (for me) of morels the other day after the first warm rain of the season (I'm up in Ontario). I've been hunting that area for years and only ever found, like, 5 or 6 there. But this year - bonanza! A grocery bag full!

First meal was seared ribeye steaks served with a sauce of morels sauteed with wild green onions, then cooked down with a bit of brandy and finished with cream. Heavenly. Second meal was linguine with a very similar sauce, only made with white wine instead of the brandy and a bit of Parmesan added at the end. Killer. I gave a few away for a deserving friend. And now I await another rain.

Wow congrats! Go back there next year, you have a good chance of finding more. Just by curiosity, where exactly are you located in Ontario?

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Wow congrats! Go back there next year, you have a good chance of finding more. Just by curiosity, where exactly are you located in Ontario?

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