Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The Mushroom Hunt
The morel mushroom is a fungi that is much sought after for culinary purposes. Famous for use in French cuisine, it is hunted by thousands of individuals each year simply because they love their taste and the thrill of the hunt. Because this mushroom is not farmed successfully on a large scale, the commercial morel industry is based upon the harvest of wild mushrooms. During this time of year, mushroom hunters seek these tasty morsels by hiking mountain hillsides, looking for this treat. Families and small groups can be found along our mountain roadsides, looking for these treasures. So far, I haven't trusted my knowledge of mushrooms enough to indulge in this cooking adventure, but we have found morels in many areas in our woods. This week I even found this morel beside the pathway leading away from the kitchen door of the cabin. How much handier can you get than that? Mountain gossip (which is the best method of keeping up with happenings there) tells that many commercial mushroom hunters are searching the areas that were burned by the large forest fire of last summer. The morel is known to grow abundantly in the two and sometimes three years immediately following a forest fire. Until I have done a little more research on mushrooms that look like morels, I will continue to learn and keep my cabin frying pan empty. You can never be too careful when it comes to mushrooms! Who knows, maybe I have even misidentified the mushroom by the cabin kitchen door --- but it looks exactly like the ones I researched online. There's always something new to learn. . .experience. . .and share. Someday soon I hope to trust my knowledge of mushroom identification enough to try this tasty treat.
Click here for Google photos of morel mushrooms.