in Tennessee, morels will make their appearance the last few weeks in
March or the first few weeks in April. Morel hunting is the perfect
activity for enjoying the outdoors this beautiful time of year.
Not only will the fresh air and activity invigorate you, but you will
feel like a kid on a treasure hunt!
for the hunt! Stare at pictures of morels in their natural setting,
or even better print a few out and hang them in low areas around the
house. It might sound crazy, but sometimes the trick to seeing things
in nature is to not look for them. This can be especially true of
morels. You want your unconscious mind to perceive the morels rather
than intently searching the ground every moment you are in the woods.
You can do this in part by training your eyes to take in all of the
surroundings while latching onto the subtle shapes, textures and
colors that are morels.
the kids! Children have an eye for finding mushrooms. It may
surprise you how quickly kids will find morels while going on an
afternoon hike. After you find your first morel, it isn’t unusual to
look around the immediate area and find more – sometimes dozens more!
Now that you are mentally prepared get physically prepared. You can
sometimes find morels conveniently located along the trail but more
often you will need to be a trail blazer on steep slopes. Dress
accordingly. It is a good idea to bring a basket, mesh bag, or
anything breathable. In a plastic bag the morels will quickly become
soft and slimy. Store your morel harvest in the fridge in a paper
bag or wrapped gently in wax paper to keep them from drying out.
Crab stuffed morels
think of morels as a gateway mushroom to becoming a fungal forager,
because they are so delicious and easy to identify. Nothing inedible
looks quite like them. While morels have a honeycomb appearance
false morels look more brain-like. To be absolutely sure you found a
real morel, cut one in half. Morels have a completely hollow open
inner chamber, perfect for stuffing with crab dip or other yummy
goodness! After your dissection, look closely and you will notice
that there are no gills like the grocery store mushrooms. No gills,
honeycomb, hollow inner chamber, cap is attached to the stem, growing
out of the ground and fruiting in the Spring are some of the rules to
identify a morel. If you find what looks like a morel and it isn’t
early to mid-spring, it isn’t a morel.
you can’t find any on your own. Keep an eye on our website for when
we have fresh morels in the store. You can
also try growing them in your yard using our new morel kits! Local pickers, like our friend Whitey, offer guided mushroom forays
don’t try to identify foraged wild mushrooms just based on this
Consult a more comprehensive source like these:
D. (1986). Mushrooms Demystified. Berkeley, California, Ten
M. “The Mushroom Expert.” 2013, from
M. (2005). Morels. Ann Arbor, Michigan, The University of
G. and T. Laessoe (2002). Smithsonian Handbooks Mushrooms. New
York, New York, A Dorling Kindersley Book.
G. and C. Nehring (1981). National Audubon Society, Field Guide to
Mushrooms: North America. New York, Alfred A. Knopf.
T. (2009). The Good, the Bad and the Deadly, DVD.
T. (2009). The Mushroom Identification Trilogy, DVD.
L. (2012). The Curious Morel. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania,
A. (2006). Mushrooming without fear: The beginner’s guide to
collecting safe and delicious mushrooms. New York, New York,