The Morel of the Story?
Spring has arrived and that means one thing........the hunt for the elusive morel mushroom! The common morel known in the scientific community as Morchella esculenta can be found throughout North America but try asking someone where they found their mushrooms and see if they offer up their "secret" spot. Can you spot the mushroom in the picture at the bottom of the page?
Mushrooms are fungi and the visible part of the fungus is called a fruitbody. Fruitbodies widely vary but typically consists of a cap and stem. The morchella esculenta forms spores within saclike structures called asci which lines the honeycomb-like structure of the cap. This honeycomb-like cap has a variety of shapes from ovoid to round or conical. Colors range from pale brown to dark brown as the spores mature on its surface. The white to cream stem is wider at the base and has a mealy surface. The morel has a most unique and delicious flavor and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
Morels can be found in groups or as a single mushroom. Often this mushroom is found under dead elm trees, old apple trees, poplars, tulip poplars, conifers or mayapples. Where is our favorite mushroom hunting ground? The Morel of the story is .................the Galena River Trail is a great place to walk in the spring!