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Do You Think This Is a Morel Mushroom?

LisaRN

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I have a few of these growing in my yard. First year I have seen them. Does this look like a Morel Mushroom to you? 001.JPG

Thanks!
 

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lyra

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It does to me, but I haven't actually seen one in decades. My grandma used to pick them in the forest near her cottage and cook them often. No one else around me loves mushrooms like I do! Still, I wouldn't trust myself with identification.:P2
 

dk168

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It does to me too, however I only cook with dried ones, and not an expert in mushrooms.

DK :))
 

Dee*Jay

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Yes! TR is on a mad mushroom hunt these past few days as they only grow for a short period of time and under very specific conditions. So if you've had rain and then it's warmed up by several degrees (including at night) these would have popped up. They're delicious with a little coating of flour and fried in butter. Cut the bigger ones in half lengthwise (they're hollow inside). They shrink up A LOT when you cook them. :lickout:
 

LisaRN

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Thank you for the replies! @Dee*Jay -the weather has been exactly as you described and thank you for the cooking tip. :)
 

House Cat

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We get a false morel in our backyard each year that smells so bad...ugh!
 

PintoBean

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@MonnieDBL and I had this morel pasta dish when we were visiting @Dee*Jay for the Chicago Gtg last year. Every so often I'd get a bite of something sweet and in the low lighting I wasn't sure if that was a morel that was sweet or a date or what.
IMG_4157.JPG
 

Dancing Fire

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Is it poisonous? :bigsmile:
 

MonnieDBL

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Yes, that is definitely a morel, and you were smart to ask.

@PintoBean the morels used in our dish seemed to have picked up other flavors. @Dee*Jay mentions a more traditional preparation of a light breading and frying that brings out their earthiness. A lot of chefs like to do “fun” things with morels that, in my opinion, compromise their natural flavor. I do not enjoy wondering whether I’m chewing a fig or a date or a mushroom. But my palate is far from sophisticated as I grew up “mushroom hunting” every spring and will always prefer the old-timey way of serving hot, pan-fried morels alongside other country things like grilled or fried local fish and early spring veggies.

The very dark things in the photo @PintoBean shared are morels. They don’t look like that breaded and fried “properly.” ;)2
 
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MonnieDBL

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Is this a case of things tasting better than they look? lol
I suppose you could view it that way if you aren’t accustomed to this sort of thing. Where I come from they are considered a delicacy and often fetch $30/lb or more when sold to restaurants or the public by foragers. They aren’t widely grown in controlled environments, although I’ve read that this is now possible.
 

missy

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Is this a case of things tasting better than they look? lol
They taste delicious depending on how you prepare them and consider me a weirdo cause I think they’re beautiful looking too. :P2
 

NewEnglandLady

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Sooooo jealous! I grew up looking forward to mushroom hunting season every year. They don't grow where I live now--such a bummer! They look delicious!!!
 

lyra

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@MonnieDBL , you reminded me so much of the life my grandparents had living on an almost island on a beautiful lake. Grandma had her own garden of course, getting to town required a boat ride and a long car trip. But we would have wild morels, wild strawberries and blueberries, fiddleheads, walleye, wild rice and all handgrown veggies. At Christmas we would have smoked sturgeon. Everything was cooked on a wood stove too. She made the best soups ever. Ah what a life we had back then!
 

JPie

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It would be a dream come true for me to go foraging for morels. I had them at Manresa once; it was stuffed with foie gras and served on the side of seared duck breast with the most amazing sauce. I don't get that fancy when I cook them. I usually sauté them with spring onions, which are in season at the same time.

I was a little put off the last time I made them. They were on the smaller side so I soaked them but didn't cut them. I noticed live ants in the water after a while, so I decided to cut every one of them open. About 1/2 way through, I found one stuffed with about 20-30 ants. :sick: I still ate them but it was hard to get the image out of my head.
 

MonnieDBL

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@JPie when you soak them, add salt to your water to get rid of any critters. That would have put me off them, too. Back in 2008, my brother and SIL and I found a patch of huge morels under some wild cherry trees (unusual) and it had been particularly rainy that week. I picked a few that were occupied by snails. That nearly put me off them for good and when I think about it even now I get a little queasy. I’ve had escargot, not a fan. Really prefer my morels snail-free.

@lyra your childhood sounds idyllic! Fiddleheads are one of the few things I haven’t tried. They are on my list!

@NewEnglandLady I left my hometown area for 14 years, and nearly every spring I would have dreams about mushroom hunting. It really is something special.
 

canuk-gal

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It would be a dream come true for me to go foraging for morels. I had them at Manresa once; it was stuffed with foie gras and served on the side of seared duck breast with the most amazing sauce. I don't get that fancy when I cook them. I usually sauté them with spring onions, which are in season at the same time.

I was a little put off the last time I made them. They were on the smaller side so I soaked them but didn't cut them. I noticed live ants in the water after a while, so I decided to cut every one of them open. About 1/2 way through, I found one stuffed with about 20-30 ants. :sick: I still ate them but it was hard to get the image out of my head.
YIKES!
 

kipari

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A lot of chefs like to do “fun” things with morels that, in my opinion, compromise their natural flavor. I do not enjoy wondering whether I’m chewing a fig or a date or a mushroom.
I'm with Monnie here. They're so delicious they don't need any "fun". Getting grumpy when they serve me any newfangled morel concoctions at high end restaurants...

I like mine in a simple cream sauce with pasta as well....:lickout:
 

Skhii

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For those familiar with mushroom hunting, are there public places to search, or is that kind of activity restricted to those who already own a patch of land with woods?
 
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