Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Morel of the Story

Unless you know exactly what you are doing, do not eat plants or fungi you find in the woods. 
I found my first morel of the year. It is classified in my mushroom book as having a honeycomb-like cap. It has a hollow interior and I’ve been told they like to grow in old apple orchards. The mushroom book also includes elms, poplars, tulip poplars and conifers as sites to find morels. They grow worldwide but are less common in very cold or warm to hot regions. I watched a show on PBS that had a segment on how to cook morels, and the chef cooked them in a pan with butter and garlic. I usually eat morels raw, but the show said that people shouldn’t eat them raw because they are mildly toxic. There is a poisonous species called conifer false morel (Gyromitra esculenta), which superficially resembles the common morel, and it usually grows near conifers on sand soil or on wood chips. 

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