This time of the year, as spring is arriving, millions of people worldwide are subject to an obsession with morel mushrooms. It is primarily the taste of these elusive mushrooms that is responsible for the mania. It has been said that the difference in taste between a morel and an ordinary mushroom is similar to the difference between cheese and chalk. The taste of morels is rich, creamy, earthy. Chefs worldwide prepare unique creations using this rare fungus, and experiencing unique morel creations in gourmet restaurants is a highlight of spring dining. Here are some tips for saving, preserving and cooking these delicious rare mushrooms. And also some precautions you should be aware of.
Morels are a wild mushroom, and like all mushrooms need to be cooked before being ingested. It is also important to know how to correctly identify these mushrooms, as there are many morel look alikes that are poisonous. Protect yourself by taking the time to study wild mushrooms. Use mushroom identification guide books and visit some of the better morel sites on the web to learn the difference. If you are hunting wild mushrooms for the first time, it is wise to go with an experienced friend who knows the difference between morels and the deadly varieties of mushrooms. You need to know what you are eating, and be very particular. If the mushrooms show any sign of decay, throw them out, as bacteria can be harmful. Cook morels thoroughly before eating, and eat only a small quantity at first to test for any allergic reaction. chocolate shrooms online Do not mix different types of wild mushrooms at one eating. Do not consume alcohol at the same time. Some people are allergic to mushrooms that are generally safe. Start out by eating small quantities and see how your body reacts.
If you find them yourself in the woods, or buy morels, it is important to keep them dry and cool. Heat can damage them. Do not transport morels in the trunk of a car or glove box. Do not store in plastic bags. Any container in which you place your morels should be breathable. An onion or mesh bag is ideal. Morels need to be kept clean of dirt, but it is not wise to soak them in water as this can damage them. Morels can be stored for long term use by drying in a commercial food dryer or on a mesh in the sun.
The most popular way to prepare morels for eating is to fry them in butter or olive oil in a cast iron pan. You can bread them with flour or corn meal, and add onion or garlic, salt and pepper. You can combine them with bread or use them in omelets, although that dilutes the flavor. It has been written that “there is something almost cruelly tantalizing about morels. No other mushroom in the world, save perhaps the white truffle of northern Italy, offers quite the degree of flavor and fragrance of a fresh morel.” Gourmet chefs have created many tantalizing dishes using this rare ingredient. The Food Network website has more than 60 morel recipes, ranging from morel pies and tarts to stroganoffs, omelettes, soups and sauces. More exotic are morels in puff pastry and in cream tarts.
Another gourmet site with many morel recipes is Epicurious.com featuring creations such as Fettuccine with Morel and Asparagus, Wild Mushroom Pizza, Morel Ragout, Steaks stuffed with morels, Morille a la Creme, as well as numerous omelettes and sauces. FoodNetwork.com, Cooks.com, and many other sites offer a multitude of recipes to stimulate your imagination and tastebuds to create new taste experiences with this rare spring treat.