Is there a reason why morel mushrooms are expensive? Well, for starters, they grow in the wild and are elusive. Foragers have to travel to the wilderness so that they can get their hands on these mushrooms. They then sell it either to a fancy restaurant or at a nearby farmer’s market. If you are curious to know about more these mushrooms, like how you can prepare them or how to cook them, then read on.
What Are They Like?
Morel mushrooms, also known as just morels, have a meat-like texture, unlike their more slimy counterparts. Several high-end chefs want this mushroom in their kitchen because of how rare they are. Their appearance varies in shape, size, and color. They could be bulbous or oblong, and their colors range from gray to blonde. The easiest way to distinguish them is by their exterior – it looks like a honeycomb. It is hollow and white from the inside.
They Are Expensive
Morel mushrooms cost about $20 per pound. This is because they are difficult to cultivate. So, if someone has harvested them before, it means that they probably traveled somewhere very far to hand-pick them. Also, they have a rather short growing period. You will find more of these mushrooms from March-June. This is also dependent on the weather conditions and the elevation. Another reason why they are expensive is that they’re highly perishable. The hollowness of this mushroom makes it difficult to transport it, especially to places that are far away.
Buying and Storing
So, if you are planning on purchasing morel mushrooms, ensure you buy the ones that look plump and do not have dry stems. Avoid the ones that are brittle, dried out, or soft. These will rot easily and quicker. Avoid going to forage for these mushrooms by yourself. Take an experienced guide along so they will be able to tell if you got the right one or the wrong one. Morel mushrooms stay fresh for about a week if you keep them in the fridge. You can also lay them in the sun and rotate them regularly.
Before you start to prepare anything, wash the morel mushrooms in cold water. The next step is to dry them quickly so that they do not absorb the water. Do not eat them raw, as they could lead to stomach cramps. The best way to enjoy its flavors is to sauté it in butter or use it as a savory sauce to be put on grilled meats. It also pairs well with asparagus.