Leave your camo, turkey calls and rifles at home. All you need is a bag, boots and a long stick. It’s morel hunting season; mushrooms, wild gold, popping up their little phallic heads in our woodlands, creek bottoms, fields and even our yards. Yes, those three beauties in the picture were found under my equally beautiful lilac bush in front of my house.
I’m not sure what it is about these elusive delicious fungi that brings out the crazy in some folks but they take this particular hunting season very seriously. These fearless foragers would kill (ok maybe not a human, but snakes, spiders, and stinging flying insects—not to mention wade through poison ivy and oak) to scout prime growing locations. Once found, under NO circumstances will they divulge their hunting spots. People return for years to the same top-secret locations, filling their plastic grocery bags with the wild gold. They would rather sell their children into slavery than give up the goods. But at $40 a pound – maybe it’s worth it?
Just joking! See—for a minute morel mania even got to me. Whatever the price (free from the yard works) when dredged in flour, sauteed in a little white wine and butter, or added to a creamy risotto, there is no doubt the wild gold is a tasty seasonal treat.
Judith Hennessey, April, 2016