The morel mushroom is an edible fungi that has a honeycomb look to it and is commonly used in French cuisine.
Morels are notable by their net like cap. The cap and stem grow from two to four inches tall and are hollow throughout. They can range in color from light tans to dark black.
Selecting and Buying
As with mushroom hunting for any variety it is also important to take and examine the spore prints of what is collected. This is done by placing the mushroom spore baring side down on a white piece of paper and covering with a bowl for a few hours. After this time spores from the mushroom should have fallen on the paper making them easier to examine.
Spores from true morels range from a cream color to yellow.
Preparation and Use
Most often morels are fried, sauteed, or grilled. A good way to prepare the Morel is by sautéing them in butter for approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side, depending on size, and serving immediately or using them as a topping for other foods, such as eggs, game, and various meats. Morel mushrooms provide a rich, earthy flavor that enhances sauces, egg dishes and a variety of hearty meats.
Conserving and Storing
It is best to use morels as soon as possible so they are at their freshest when consumed. This is when the flavor is at its peak. If they are not to be prepared soon after picking, they should be stored in areas open to circulating air. If they are dried, they have a much longer shelf life and can be stored indefinitely in a coo, dark cabinet or pantry.
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