Morel mushrooms have a very unique, savory taste - and oh so good. Having lived in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California for years we knew of them but they were very hard to come by because they are so valued by restaurants (particularly those featuring French cuisine) that the foresters would pick brown grocery bags full of them and by the next day they would be on the menu of fine restaurants in San Francisco and Napa. Right now you can look online at Food World and they are selling a pound of dried morels for $448.25.
Since moving to Idaho we keep a keen eye on a fruit stand on State street in the spring, because we know that if it is a good morel year, they will be putting out their sign.
Because of all the forest fires in the West in the past few years morels have been more available than usual - they tend to grow like crazy after fires and have a wonderful smokey taste. Hubby and I hope to get a Forest Service permit next year and make a day of it out hunting for morels. Education is the most important thing when hunting for any mushroom - morels have a unique shape but there is a poisonous mushroom called a "false morel," and before you go out hunting you need to know the difference.
This year our supplier had "regular" and "Blondie's." Blondie's were new to us and $3 more per pound and according to the salesperson they have more flavor. We opted for what we knew.
A very simple process of washing them, slicing them in half and layering them in the dehydrator.
Oh my gosh there are no words to describe what it smelled like in our house as these were drying, like you had just cooked the best thing in the world in your kitchen.
Well folks this is what you get when you dry three pounds or $60 worth of morels. Having said that worth EVERY penny. A half ounce will make a soup that is memorable, reconstitute two or three of them to add to any dish that has mushrooms, add them to rice and risotto dishes, stews, soups, etc. They are just wonderful.
Morels, the forest, some very special gourmet groceries
Dehydrator, Ronco FD1005WHGEN 5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator
Curious Morel, The: 4th Edition Curious Morel, The: 4th Edition
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