The Boyne City National Morel Mushroom Festival takes place May 14-17, 2009. This year is the 49th annual*, and the 4 day celebration of the morel mushroom includes a morel seminar and guided mushroom hunt on Friday and of course the Boyne Valley Lions National Mushroom Hunt on on Saturday (be sure to display your finds on the Mushroom Pole too!). In addition to the Taste of Morel event where you get to try all manner of morel dishes, there is a seminar on foraging & cooking with wild food guru John Sheets and another on hunting with local expert Tony Williams, concerts with Michigan Blues legend Larry McCray and others, there’s a carnival, euchre & poker tournaments, zany car race and plenty of fun for kids.
One of the highlights of the weekend is the “Morel Taste of Boyne” featuring a Chef’s Challenge along with the area’s finest restaurants in the big tent on Saturday afternoon serving different morel dishes and also presenting morel cooking demonstrations. This is the largest morel cooking (and eating) event in the world!
You can grab your sweetie and get warmed up with The Mushroomers Waltz and if you’re hungry,Lake Magazine has a recipe for morel & hazelnut soup that looks very simple but very tasty! Chef Eric Villegas of the TV show Fork in the Road offers a recipe for midwestern risotto of carnaroli and minnesota wild rice, morel mushrooms and white truffle oil that looks more complex but every bit as tasty.
MichiganMorels.com reminds you that you can eat any mushroom … once. They offer tips to help keep you safe, but the biggest tip is to hunt with someone who knows what they’re doing! Speaking of hunting, here’s a video interview of morel expert Tom Nauman that gives you a couple useful tips for morel hunting.
If you can’t attend the Mushroom Festival and can’t get to any morel-filled woods, you can still get morels (and leeks and other tasty treasures) courtesy of Michigan-based Earthy Delights.
Visitors will want to visit the Boyne City Chamber of Commerce and/or try Absolute Michigan keyword “Boyne” for lodging and other information. I thought it was pretty funny that the best article online about the Boyne City Mushroom Festival is from a Pittsburgh, PA newspaper. It’s from May of 2003 but has great background on the festival with a focus on the National Mushroom Hunting Championship. Check out Boyne City mushroom championship has no lack of morels.
* Next year the 50th annual takes place May 13 – 16, 2010 – they are seeking recipes for a commemorative cookbook, so send them if you have them!