Awww those many damp spring mornings with my trusty stick. I would walk through the woods of my Grandfathers back yard pushing leaves and branches aside and search for the infamous Morel Mushroom AKA dry land fish! The flavor of these little gems when fryed in an iron skillet with a little salt and pepper still lingers on the memories of my taste buds.
Morel mushrooms are highly desired and highly unusual.
WHERE DO YOU FIND THEM?
The most common place to find morels is in the woods. Morels like to come up around dead and decaying trees such as the Elm. Morels can be found near living Ash, Poplar, Aspen and maples just to name a few of the main hosting trees. Morels will grow in heavy leaf cover, dried creek bottoms and heavy foliage. Try hunting near edges of river banks and mossy areas. Look for areas that have a rich black and sandy soil. Morels seem to prefer sandy soils. Morels hate clay. The are should be well drained and no standing water. Shady areas are ideal for late season hunting and more open areas in the early season.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO START YOUR SEARCH?
Morels produce ascospores, which means the spores are enclosed within the tissue, and a force propels them out. The spores must therefore be near the surface, and a lot of surface area is needed. Ridges and pits increase the surface area creating a sponge-like appearance.Morels, however, are nothing like sponges. They are hollow, rubbery and brittle-much more brittle than other mushrooms. In fact, mushrooms usually have a tough skin over the surface and a fibrous stem. This prevents pieces of mushroom tissue from breaking off. By contrast, morels crumble easy and are often broken-an inadequacy stemming from recent evolution from a yeast.
The cap of the morel has many inadequacies which other mushrooms overcame. A typical mushroom cap protects spores from being washed away by rain. The morel cap does not. The gills of mushrooms have aerodynamic properties for exploiting wind. Morels cannot use wind nearly as effectively.
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