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Five Things you need to know about Michigan Morel Mushrooms

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The Michigan Morel

We’re getting reports from across the state of morels being found, so it’s a great time to share some of information about these Pure Michigan delicacies. Morechella (true morels) are a honeycomb-like mushroom that  are prized by chefs the world over. The Great Morel Homepage can take you a lot deeper with links about the science of  these woodland delicacies.

If you’re looking for information about hunting morels this feature on Leelanau.com has some great tips to help you hunt and to be a good citizen of Morel Nation. MichiganMorels.com has tons of information as well about where to look, saying:

Black morel habitats includes Ash, Fruit and Aspen trees (also known as: Popple or Poplar) or even lawns and fields.White (yellow) morels especially like Elm, Fruit trees, and Maple. And in southern Michigan, the Tulip Poplar tree is a good host.

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Know Your Quarry: Morel Identification

Finding morels means knowing what they look like, and being able to distinguish them from poisonous false morels.

Michigan’s first morels in the woods are the black morels followed in a couple of weeks by yellow/blond. MichiganMorels.com has a page that shows you how to identify morels and false morels.

Please remember the cardinal rule of mushroom hunting though: If you aren’t sure, don’t eat it!
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New Michigan Morel Tool

Morel MapIf you’re on the hunt, Outdoor Hub shared a new tool from the Michigan DNR for morel hunters that could be of interest:

“Morel mushrooms are often found in locations where large fires occurred the previous year,” said Jim Fisher, resource protection manager for the DNR Forest Resources Division. “Each spring we get calls from people who are seeking details on those sites to hunt morels. We’ve enhanced the features of this map to give our customers the information they are looking for in a mobile-friendly, easily accessible package.”

The DNR’s interactive Mi-Morels map provides forest cover type information, latitude and longitude coordinates and state-managed land boundary information.

Click for the Mi-Morels map!
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Cooking Morels

When you find morels, you’re going to want to cook them. The easiest tip is to soak them and rinse very well – they do have a lot of “grit” – and then fry them in butter.

You can of course do a lot more with them. Check that Leelanau.com article and the recipes page at The Great Morel (one suggests a Michigan Dry Riesling pairing – we couldn’t agree more!).

Even if you don’t find morels, you can buy them from Michigan-based Earthy Delights. On their recipes page they offer several ideas including Spring Wild Harvest Ragout With Fiddlehead Greens & Morels!
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Celebrating the Morel in Michigan

Michigan loves its morels and we have two great morel celebrations. The annual Mesick Morel Festival is slated for May 6-8, 2016. Full schedule and updates on their Facebook.

The second is the National Morel Mushroom Festival in Boyne City that takes place May 11-15, 2016. When you visit the festival, you’ll have a chance to taste an incredible array of morel dishes and enjoy an experience much like  Absolute Michigan did a few of years ago.