Monday, March 2, 2009

Seasonal Activities: Foraging for Morel

Jean Pierre explains how to forage for Morels (Morilles)

Jean Pierre: My family have always been picking mushrooms in the Hautes Pyrenees Mountains with my father in the village of Auzat. Then with my Aunt Rosa in Montpezat de Quercy, mainly foraging for all types of mushrooms nothing specific. I was brought along because i was the smallest one and could get under the bushes.

In February and March is the best time to look for Morels, especially after a good frost. You are most likely to come across them where there are horse tracks, manure piles, wood barks, they are open forest mushrooms. The Picture above shows what they look like, i describe them as a big sponge on top of a stem. There is a false Morel which looks more gelatinous than the common Morel but it isn't very good. I can't really explain what Morels taste like, they are very light and go well in cream sauce and with poultry. You can also dry them if you want to preserve them, they last about a year when dried.

WARNING there are some mushrooms you can only eat once, so make sure you show them to some one who knows what they are.

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