Why Are Morels So Popular? (Solved & Explained!)

In case you haven’t heard, regular mushrooms are old news, Morel mushrooms are quickly becoming the most popular edible fungi!

Food trends play a huge role in our diet, and if you go out for a meal at a fine dining restaurant, you might just see or even eat Morel for a fairly high price. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, we’re going to discuss just why Morels are so popular.

Everyone wants to eat Morel mushrooms right now because they are nutritious, rich and delicious, expensive, and maybe most importantly: hard to find. 

So whether you are a foodie and are curious just why these mushrooms have established such a reputation, or you want to be able to show off to your friends or family with your diverse Morel knowledge, we have all the information you could ever need about these tasty little treats. 

What Are Morels?

Morels are classified as mushrooms, and they typically grow from trees. The relationship between the tree and the Morels themselves is essential to their growth, which is why they are so difficult to commercially farm. 

Although they come in many shapes, colors, and sizes, you can identify a Morel because of its distinctive “honeycomb” texture. 

Just like other mushrooms varieties, the edible part is actually the fruit of the plant itself. So far they sound just like any other mushrooms, so what makes them so special?

What Do Morels Taste Like?

You may just have to try one for yourself, as most people say that they are too delicious for words. However, the general consensus is that they are earthy, as all mushrooms are, but they are also extremely rich and do not have the rubbery texture that other varietals possess. 

With a powerful nutty taste and a meaty texture, Morels are popularly used as a meat replacement or as the main aspect of a meal. 

As we noted previously, they can come in several colors. These colors can have an effect on their taste; the darker the Morel, the richer and nuttier it will be. 

If this is making your mouth water, you will probably want to know how to get your hands on some Morels! You might want to check your bank account before you commit to preparing them for yourself, as they are some of the most expensive mushrooms on the market.

How Much Do Morels Cost?

A fresh pound of Morels will run you at least $30 per pound, and sometimes upwards of $100 if the season is dying down. 

Depending on where you live, Morels will most likely need to be shipped, which of course increases their cost. 

Morels don’t last long, so fresh Morels are often dried in order to elongate their shelf life span, in this case, they are even more pricy, as it takes about four pounds of fresh morals to create one pound of dried ones. A dried pound of Morels could cost about $200.

No matter your budget, those are certainly some high-priced fungi, in fact, they are the fourth most expensive mushroom available in the world. You may be thinking to yourself, just why are they so expensive?

Why Are Morels Expensive?

The prices of fresh fruit and vegetables are most often directly connected to accessibility and availability, and Morel mushrooms are no different. 

You now know that Morels grow directly from trees, but it turns out they are pretty tricky to cultivate commercially. Farmers across the globe are attempting to establish intentional Morel growth, but it simply hasn’t worked successfully yet. 

Therefore, any Morel you get your hands on and into your belly would have been found in nature. Hunting for Morels has become a full-time job for many foragers from March until May around the country.

Although they can be found in wooded areas all around the USA, they are most commonly found in moist regions like the Pacific North West, as opposed to in the dryer climate in the southern states. 

Where Can You Find Morels?

If you want to skip the almost exorbitant prices online stores are asking for, and you live in a wet climate, you can go hunting for Morels on your own! If there are any moist, wooded areas near your home, you just may be able to find plenty of these popular mushrooms between late March and early May ready to be enjoyed. 

Morels can typically be found around the base of trees on the outskirts of wooded areas. The most common trees that create a successful home for Morels include Ash, Elm, Aspens, and even Apple trees.

How Do You Harvest Morels?

Before you begin your harvest adventure, make sure to do your research first, as not all mushrooms are safe to eat, but Morels have such a distinct texture, you will almost definitely be able to tell right away if you’ve found some. 

Morels can be easily harvested even by an amateur forager. All you need to do once you’ve spotted some delicious Morels is pinch or cut the stem just above the soil. That’s all!

If you want to learn a little more about how to find and harvest Morels, this informative wild mushroom website has it all. 

How To Cook Morels

If you have decided you just have to try some of these incredibly popular mushrooms, and you have either paid the price or found some in your area, you will certainly want to know how to best prepare them.

Obviously, their intense smoky and rich flavor is one of the main reasons Morels have become so overwhelmingly popular. To enhance this natural tastiness, chefs and experts recommend that you simply sautee them quickly in butter. 

You can also prepare them on the grill, or even lightly breaded. The most important thing is to keep that gorgeous flavor by not over-cooking them.

Final Thoughts

You may have seen Morels on a fancy restaurant menu for a ridiculous price or heard your chef or foodie friends talking about them and just had to know, what are these mushrooms and why are they so incredibly popular?

The truth is that they are definitely one of the most sought-after mushrooms, and even foods, on the market today. 

The reasons for their admiration are plentiful. Most importantly, they are astoundingly flavorsome, but they are also only found in nature, during a specific season, and only in certain regions throughout the world, so their popularity may have something to do with their elusive availability. They are also easy to prepare, and will certainly impress any dinner guests. 

Now you are a Morel expert! So whether you want to try them for yourself, or simply show off your knowledge at your next dinner party, you are definitely ready!

META: Morels: Everything you need to know about today’s most popular mushroom!