Morels are considered to be tastier than other types of mushrooms. Famous chefs around the world are on the hunt for these mushrooms to enrich their menus. Morel mushrooms are very delicious, with a nutty and earthy taste.
What Do Morel Mushrooms Look Like?
The shapes of morel mushrooms vary according to their species, and vary from rectangular to bulbous, and have a color spectrum from cream to gray.
Their surface texture resembles a honeycomb which makes it easy to spot them. Morels are hollow and white on the inside.
Morels are generally known for their similarity to each other, despite many species coexisting. Some morels are very difficult to distinguish from each other, even if you look closely.
False morels, which are very similar to true morel mushrooms, can be deceiving in many ways. While the majority of true morels are non-toxic, false morels are highly toxic and can lead to death if consumed.
Morel mushrooms have a very meaty structure, for this reason, morels are highly prized and sell for around $20 per lb.
What Are False Morels?
Although false morels are similar in name and appearance to true morels, they are both different types of mushrooms.
False morels are dark red, purple, and black, and the inside of the stem is covered with white threadlike hair. True morels are hollow inside.
False morels are one of the most poisonous mushrooms that you can find in nature. They can cause fatal damage due to the toxic substances they contain, are often confused with true morels due to their similarity in shape and appearance.
False morels have a fruity and nutty earthy scent, which is very similar to that of true morels.
Therefore, if you are new to mushroom hunting, you should acquire the necessary knowledge and experience before going on a morel hunt.
Are Morels Good to Eat?
Morels are generally non-toxic and have a delicious taste to them. they are considered very delicious and are often sautéd with butter to bring out their nutty taste.
Morels are a top-class mushroom species preferred by the world’s best chefs, however, as with all types of mushrooms, some people can have adverse reactions when consumed excessively.
If you have a mushroom allergy, even a mild one, it is best to keep away from morel mushrooms. this is because they do contain a small number of toxins.
This toxin is burnt away with the cooking process but it does mean that as far as mushrooms go, morels are quite potent.
Can You Eat Morels and Drink Alcohol?
Morels contain some hydrazine toxin, although not too much. Therefore, it is not recommended to consume morels with alcohol.
When you drink alcohol, enzymes are released to begin the detoxification process. This is usually manifested as a hangover. Hydrazine blocks these enzymes and prevents your body from recovering, so drinking excess amounts of alcohol with morel mushrooms is ill-advised.
Do You Eat The Stems of Morels?
You can cut off the stems of the morels about an inch from the base and they are perfectly fine to eat.
The stems are just delicious and have a higher nutrient value. It is recommended to keep some of the stems on the morel mushroom when serving.
How to Cook With Morels
Morels are slightly more sensitive than other mushrooms due to their structure. That’s why you have to be very careful when preparing them for cooking.
Before starting the process, you should wash them well and clean them thoroughly.
How To Prepare Morels
- Fill a bowl with cold water and wash your morels well, then dry them with a paper towel
- After cleaning the morels, divide them in half or quarters, depending on your preference.
How to Cook Morels
- get a shallow pan and add a little butter
2. Cook them on low heat for 4 or 5 minutes. Any more than this the morels will be overcooked and lose their taste.
Morels cannot be eaten raw as they can cause stomach cramps and pain, and you should limit the number of morels you consume with each serving.
Top Chefs say that a morel’s best friend is asparagus. They are often paired together because they complement each other’s flavor profiles.
How Do You Know When Morels Go Bad?
You can tell that morels are going bad if red and black dots begin to appear on them. A morel that begins to deteriorate gradually acquires a soft consistency and its color begins to darken.
Morels are very sensitive mushroom species and they start to deteriorate quite quickly if not preserved. You should dry morels immediately after washing them as moisture makes them spoil faster.
Another sign that the morels are starting to deteriorate is the formation of small cavities on their surface. This is one of the first signs of morel spoiling.
There is no point in putting the morels that have started to deteriorate during this process back into the refrigerator. Once they are spoiled there is not much you can do to save them.
How to Store Morel Mushrooms
You can store your morels in a large container in the refrigerator, with the lid not too tight.
They can stay in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, but if they are kept longer than this, they will start to deteriorate.
Be careful not to use plastic and dark-colored bags. Morels in plastic bags rot faster. You should store the morels immediately after washing because morels that are not stored after washing begin to deteriorate quicker.
Freezing your morels is another smart storage method. You can protect your morels against spoilage for months by freezing them and you can use them in your meals out of season.
The only disadvantage of this method is that frozen mushrooms in bulk together and become mushy.
Drying morels is another method of storage. You can dry the morels out in the sun or in the oven at a very low temperature for 3 to 4 hours.
If you do not complete the drying process completely, the morels that remain moist may spoil during storage. So before completing your drying method test one of the morels. if they are brittle to the touch they have been dried thoroughly.