What Do Morels Smell Like? (Solved & Explained!)

Morel mushrooms have a fishy smell and the smell of soil they grow on. Also, they sometimes have a woody and earthy odor. 

Although it is difficult to describe in words exactly how morel mushrooms smell if you can imagine the smell of the forest along with a pungy fish smell, you won’t be far off.

The odor of morels can vary depending on the species, and changes according to the environment it lives in. Although the description of their smell doesn’t sound appetizing, morels are one the tastiest mushrooms in the world.

Is The Smell Of Morels Strong or Mild?

Morels smell neither too strong nor too mild, they are the goldilocks of mushrooms as far as smell is concerned. They taste similar to their smell but their taste is more pleasant and striking.

You can somewhat follow your nose when looking for morels. When they are grouped their smell intensifies, however wild-growing morels do not smell and strong as ones that have been picked.

Can You Find Morels By Their Smell?

Morel mushrooms are not easy to find by smell, as in other mushroom species, since living morels do not have a very intense smell. But if they are found in a large group you will notice a smell upon approach.

Pheromones, which play an effective role in the dispersal of spores of fungi, have a unique odor, so it is possible to employ the help of a dog specifically trained for mushroom hunting.

Although the odors of morels are less intense than other mushroom species, the odors secreted by pheromones are very effective and intense during the breeding season of spores.

While humans may struggling to pick up this scent, dogs are much more adapted with an ability to smell 1000 times better than humans.

Dogs can sniff out the mushrooms themselves, and the mycelium network underground, so they not only help with mushroom picking they can also help you find areas of potential growth for the following season. But only trained dogs.

Can You Identify False Morels By Their Smell?

False morels have a faint scent just like true morels. It is very difficult to smell a false morel mushroom from a distance. For this reason, when you are looking for false morels, do not rely on smell alone to identify them. 

False morels have a distinctive smell, and you can only get this scent from fake morels. They have a distinctive, sweeter scent that is often stronger than true morels.

Some types of false morels are highly toxic and cause sudden death when consumed. Therefore, one should be very careful and take a knife and cut it open to check if the morel you have found is true or false.

What is a False Morel?

Although false morels are similar in name to true morels, they are different kinds of mushrooms. Both belong to the order Pezizales, true morels belong to the genus Morchella and false morels belong to the genus Gyromitra.

False morels are classified as poisonous mushrooms due to the toxic substances they contain, and if consumed, they cause deadly results. If you are new to mushroom hunting, we advise you to stay away from these mushrooms.

False morels are usually shades of red, brown, and purple. True morels are usually creamy grey and yellow. 

False morels are generally broad on the stem side. When a real morel is cut, it is hollow, while false morels have filamentous white fibers inside.

Do Morels Smell Bad?

In nature, morels emit a distinctive odor due to the pheromones they secrete for the reproduction of spores. 

But this smell is not as intense as it is pronounced. If you have bad-smelling morels, this may be an indication that the fungus has started to deteriorate.

A spoiled mushroom begins to emit a bad odor over time. You can also tell by the red and black dots that begin to form on rotting mushrooms.

If a mushroom becomes heavier and smelling worse every day, it’s probably time to throw that mushroom away.

How Do You Know If Morels Have Gone Bad?

When a morel mushroom begins to deteriorate, red and black spots begin to appear on it. These dots mean the morels are starting to rot. 

When morels start to deteriorate, they have a very intense and intense odor and you can easily identify this smell, even from a distance.

If you come across morels that are starting to deteriorate, don’t try to save them, once they are spoiled not much can be done to revive them.

If you consume such mushrooms, you may face food poisoning. The scent of healthy morels is light and unmistakably pleasant. 

What Do Morel Taste Like?

Morels have a fishy and woody flavor. They do not leave an intense taste in your mouth when you eat them. 

Morels, which have a light, viscous and attractive taste, are the leading mushroom species of special interest to world-class chefs. The darker the color of a morel, the more intense and earthy it’s taste. Darker morels are a restauranteurs favourite.

Do All Morels Taste and Smell the Same?

Although morels differ slightly in taste according to the region they are grown in, they generally taste similar to each other. With its slightly fishy, woody, and earthy flavors, morels leave a unique taste.

The same goes for their smell. No matter where a morel is grown it smells similar to morels grown elsewhere with small differences that are barely noticeable to most people.

Their smells range from earthy to woody and fishy, just like their taste. But morels taste far better than they smell.

What Do Dried Morels Smell Like?

Dried morels have a woody and earthy scent, and their scent is stronger than wet morels. Dried morels mushrooms that have thrived after a forest fire have an extra smoky, charred taste due to the charcoal in the soil.

Fire morels, as they’re called, are highly sought after when dried. The dried variety preserves the taste and adds an extra nutty.