Morel Mushrooms – the secret society.
Morels are one of the most desired wild mushrooms in the world. They are not farmed like most grocery store mushrooms, Cremini, Portobello, Oyster, etc. but gathered in the wild. The part that we eat is the fruiting body of the underground organism called mycelium that has a complex symbiotic relationship with trees. Every spring mushroom enthusiasts, foraging chefs, and an ever growing group of commercial harvesters hunt these little forest treasures. Seriously there is a whole community of crazy Morel Mushroom foragers and many of them are in Illinois.
So I have this hippy dippy friend (who I adore) Suzanne, who is a major Morel Mushroom picker … Every year when Morel Mushroom season approaches … we just don’t see her. She is deep in the brush getting ripped apart by brambles collecting Morels (yes that is a picture of her stash one year above!) For those of us who are super lucky she shares her bounty. She has even been known to come over and prepare the mushrooms for us (I think she is fearful we will do it wrong … she takes her mushrooms very seriously). She has actually even been arrested for picking Morel Mushrooms (well not actually arrested but she got a ticket once I mean that is pretty bad a** in the mushroom world.)
So I have to say … if you are a fan of mushrooms and you haven’t tried a Morel then I highly recommend it. They are really good. They have an extra depth to them … they just taste like a superior mushroom. You can get them in the stores … sometimes dried and very rarely fresh. The fresh ones cost about $8.00 a pound.
You can just simply fry the Morels in butter which is delish but many people will add panko bread crumbs and maybe some Parmesan cheese before frying. Either way you are in for a treat.