The biggest morel mushroom ever found stood to be around one foot tall. The mushroom was harvested and was said to taste just as good as any morel mushroom.
Morel mushrooms are interesting fungi as they can grow quite large, and are often underrated among mushroom lovers.
Where Was The Biggest Morel Mushroom Found?
The biggest morel mushroom ever found was actually harvested by a 13 year old named Jayden Graber. They gained a lot of notoriety for this amazing discovery. Graber found this mushroom in Indiana in 2017.
Others have found morel mushrooms close to this size, spanning multiple inches and having large heads. These are unique and noteworthy discoveries as morel mushrooms don’t typically grow to be large.
What Are Morel Mushrooms?
Morel mushrooms are a unique mushroom in that they aren’t the easiest to find. They typically only grow in the wild, and aren’t farmed like other varieties of mushrooms. They are considered a delicacy in the culinary world due to their rarity, and thus, they can be quite expensive to purchase if you are able to find some in a farmer’s market.
Morel mushrooms usually grow in the spring in areas of North America and Europe. They tend to enjoy climates that are moist and warm. Despite many efforts, farmers have not been able to find a way to grow morel mushrooms in large quantities, or at all. They seem to only want to grow in their natural habitats.
What Do Morel Mushrooms Look Like?
A morel mushroom can range in size, though they will not all grow to be one foot tall. They also vary in shape. Their heads look like honeycombs as they have several small divets throughout them. They are usually shades of very light brown, brown, gray, or black, and have white insides that are hollow.
What Are Fake Morels?
Unfortunately, there are mushrooms in the wild that look similar to morel mushrooms. Some of these fungi are poisonous. This is why foraging for morel mushrooms takes a lot of skill and knowledge, and cannot be done by just anyone.
If you stumble upon what you think might be a morel mushroom but are not sure, you’ll be able to tell in a couple of ways. For one, a mushroom that isn’t a morel but looks like one will not be hollow. Furthermore, they tend to have a reddish or yellow hue.
How Are Morel Mushrooms Harvested?
Foragers tend to enjoy hunting for morel mushrooms due to how much of a challenge they are to discover. They are easily plucked from the ground when they are ready, and foragers can get a pretty penny for selling them.
Morel mushroom foraging experts can actually make a livable income foraging morel mushrooms, being that they are highly desired all around the world.
Why Do Morel Mushrooms Cost So Much?
Part of what makes morel mushrooms cost so much is their exclusivity. When an ingredient is so versatile, has great flavor, and is hard to find, it increases the demand. Therefore, chefs who make dishes with morels, and foragers who sell their cultivation, can understandably charge a lot for the unique experience of having morels.
They also don’t grow all year round, so there is only a small amount of time where foragers can actively hunt for morel mushrooms. They only grow between March and June. Once they are harvested, they don’t last a long time either.
What Do Morel Mushrooms Taste Like?
A morel mushroom has a delicious nutty flavor that is delicate enough to enhance a dish without overpowering the other ingredients. It can be the star of a dish or a delectable addition.
They also work really well as meat substitutes, as they can mimic the texture and satiating quality of meat. They also don’t get super slimy when they are cooked, which is one thing that turns a lot of people off from mushrooms.
How Can I Cook Morel Mushrooms?
First of all, you want to ensure you clean your morel mushrooms very well. Wash them in cold water and gently tap the water away with a paper towel. If the morels get a chance to absorb a lot of water, they will be very watery when you go to eat them.
After they are cleaned, you can cook and enjoy them in any type of dish you would add mushrooms to. They are delicious on their own sauteed in a pan, but you can also incorporate them into rich sauces. It isn’t recommended to eat morel mushrooms raw, however, because they can cause stomach upset.
Are Morel Mushrooms Healthy?
Just about any mushroom that is safe for consumption is healthy, and morel mushrooms are no exception. Mushrooms don’t contain a lot of calories, so you can enjoy a good portion of mushrooms even if you are on a restricted diet.
Fresh mushrooms tend to be the best source of the expansive amount of vitamins and minerals that mushrooms contain. Frozen mushrooms will still be healthy, but opt for fresh ones as much as you can.
Some of the vitamins within morel mushrooms include Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E. There are also a ton of other minerals and nutrients in morel mushrooms including iron, zinc, folate, selenium, and potassium.
Where Can I Buy Morel Mushrooms?
You will most likely only find morel mushrooms at a farmer’s market or specialty food store if you live in an area where morel mushrooms grow. Even so, you will probably only find them when they are in season.
It is possible to purchase morel mushrooms frozen, which will help them last a lot longer, but finding frozen morels could be quite the difficult task.
How Will I Know If A Morel Mushroom Is Good?
When examining a morel mushroom, you want to make sure that it’s not dried out. You also want to look for flaws such as bruising. Finally, look for morels that are darker, because you’ll get the best flavor out of those ones. You should keep your morels in a brown paper bag, as you do with other fresh mushrooms.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.