April 22, 2015

Morel the Cadillac of Mushrooms

They resemble tiny Christmas trees growing around the base of trees and fallen branches in the woods. The start of warm weather combined with moist soil from April showers is the conditions that indicated that morel mushroom season is starting.

I was introduced to morel mushrooms my first year of marriage when my husband and I took a weekend trip to southern Illinois to visit his parents.  My experience with mushrooms at the time had been my mother telling me not to touch or eat the mushrooms that would pop up around the edges of our yard because the were poisonous. So imagine my surprise and horror when we starting hiking through the woods looking for these little brown and yellow mushrooms.

I certainly had no idea how popular and tasty the morel mushrooms was, but I soon found out. I found out that certain people had the ability to smell the fragrance of these mushrooms, my husband being one such person. As for me, I had a hard time even seeing the mushrooms popping out from the ground let alone smell their scent. 

We emerged with a huge grocery bag full of yellow and gray morel mushrooms making his family very excited.

Source: Earth Eats

The mushrooms are soaked in salt water to remove the microscopic bugs, yuck, and placed into a bowl of salt water.

 They are cut in half and rinsed dragged through egg and milk mixture and popped into a hot pan and fried.

Source: Hub Pages

Source: Hub Pages

The kitchen is the most popular place while the morels are being fried up. Any and all excuses are used to getting close to the platter of fried mushrooms to snitch a piece or two of these delicious treats. Hands are smacked away from the platter, but no one seemed to mind the sting of the smack to get a taste of the nutty and creamy morel mushroom. By the time the mushrooms are finished being fried half the platter would be gone!

Since 1974, when I was first introduced to morel mushrooms the popularity of these treats have been featured on many cooking shows, including 'Hell's Kitchen' where the chefs had to identify certain foods. 

These little Christmas tree shaped mushrooms can sell from $29.99 - $50.00 a pound!

What was my inspiration for this post. . . 

A local restaurant which is owned by Tony Mantuano, who has been on the show 'Top Chef' is offering this unique morel mushroom dining experience for only $75.00. 

I will continue to remember crispy fried morel mushrooms that I was introduced to in 1974.

Has anyone else had the pleasure of stomping through the woods hunting this particular fungus? I would love to know where your are from and how you cook them. 


My niece and I will be attending this event, what a nice surprise not only will I be able to enjoy this very expensive feast I will get to spend an evening with her. With camera in hand I will photograph the meal and share it with you on a blog post.

1 comment:

  1. Paulette, so good to see you posting again!!!
    I love morels and used to hunt them with glee; sadly, I can't do so anymore. We live in southwest Indiana. We fixed ours the same way; I've had them breaded with cornmeal and didn't really care for them, it's cracker meal for me!