The Morel mushroom, or simply Morels, is an extremely sought after mushroom by all foragers. It has a nutty flavour and pleasant smell that is loved by top chefs all over the world but it must be cooked before eaten or else it’s poisonous.
Morels can only be found in the wild and can not be farmed, hence why they fetch a large price tag with 1kg of the mushrooms averaging £100.
Having many reported health benefits, Morels have traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments such as fatigue, indigestion, and respiratory issues. Despite being considered a health food in Asia, Morels were associated with the devil in parts of Eastern Europe.
March to May
The Morel mushroom has a very distinct cap that varies in size. It can be conical or globular in shape with a series of irregular honeycomb-like pits that are separated by thick ridges.
Morels don’t have gills like other mushrooms. They have honeycomb-like ridges along the cap.
The stem of a Morel is a pale white or cream with uneven smooth ridges that give it a shape often compared to an elephant’s foot.
Morels are most commonly found in mulch but can be found in a wide range of habitats like gardens, pastures and woodlands. They can be found in groups or as singular mushrooms.
Beware of the poisonous False Morel. It can be found in sandy soil under pine trees and can be identified by its lobbed or organ-like cap rather than pitted and its stem will be solid rather than hollow like the edible Morel.