A delicious mushroom called the common morel (Morchella esculenta), is already growing
As the warmer days are approaching, little heads of the much-prized common morels are starting to appear. Despite the fact that it is a well-known delicacy that even offers healing properties and the price on the market is around 160 euros per kilogram, not many mushroom pickers collect this mushroom. Perhaps it is due to the way morels look. Their wrinkled “hats” are not appealing… Nevertheless, we shall look at the appearance of this interesting mushroom, where you can find it, and how you can you use it.
A unique look
The common morel is very special in appearance and you cannot confuse it with any other mushroom. It can grow up to 10 cm high and it strongly resembles honeycomb patterns. Transverse and longitudinal slats on the pileus separate deeper parts. The pileus is hollow and very tightly attached to the stipe.You can find morels in various colours but the typical shades are yellowish and ochre to brownish. Sometimes, you can come across a greyish pileus with a red tinge. The stipe can be up to 4 cm wide and it is wider at the bottom. It is usually white or slightly brownish.
Where can you find the common morel?
Morel is a typical spring mushroom, so you can find it from April to May, but if the conditions are right it can appear even earlier. They usually grow separately, so you will not be able to collect many in one place. Look in leafy and well-lit groves but sometimes you may get lucky and find few on dirt roads, or on the edges of forests or watercourses. Gardens and parks are also potential candidates but they may also grow in mulch, right in your garden.
Morels are used in many recipes
Clean morels thoroughly before use. It is not so simple because a lot of grains of sand or dirt can get stuck in the porous caps. Morels also need to be cooked thoroughly. With morels you don’t need to use any flavour-enhancing ingredients because they will add plenty of taste. They are excellent with asparagus, fresh herbs or early potatoes, for example, or you can make a goulash out of them, fry them or make a thick sauce. Have you heard about stuffed morels? The hollow pileus of this mushroom is literally asking to be stuffed with some goodies. You can dry them too. Cut them in half and let them dry.
Preview photo: commons.wikimedia.org
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