Sunday, May 6, 2018

Morel Mushrooms

If you have never had a Morel you are missing out. The Morchella genus is a meaty, woodsy, textured mushroom that has enchanted and allured many a mushroom hunter.  They grow in pastures, wooded areas and in places where there had been a summer burn the previous year. 

Are Morels good for you?

From Untamed Feast:

Absolutely. Morels are loaded with all kinds of nourishment not listed by the required nutrition facts table of Canadian Food labels. As morels tend to grow in rich soils they come packed with vitamins and minerals. While the nutrition can vary based on the soil they are found in, morels will generally contain significant amounts of Iron, Copper, Manganese, Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamin D, Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin and a decent dose of Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Selenium, Thiamine, Vitamins E and B6.
Morels are also loaded with antioxidants, balance blood sugar, and repair liver-damage. Plus, they are high in protein and fiber.

I have been unlucky in finding Morels but my brother-in-law has been a Morel hunter for many years.  He does not share his locations, as is common, but has shared his bounty with me. Over the years his territory has increased.  When friends and neighbors are too old to hunt for their own, they tell him where they hunt and he hunts for them.  It is sad, either they do not have family to share their location with, or their children are not interested in the hunt.  My sister-in-law dries them in the sun on a screen and every once in a while I get a package of dried Morels.
You can use a dehydrator to dry them but heat will destroy them. You will know if they turn black.

Morels command a pretty decent price.   Morel prices are high because they cannot be farmed.  Just like crops there are good years and bad years. You can also buy dried Morels online.

I keep it simple with Morels.  I just make a basic cream of mushroom soup.  I rehydrate Morels in water enough to cover in a pot.  I add a little cream a dash of salt and pepper and whisk together.  A teaspoon or two of flour if there is too much liquid.

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