There are five seasons in the midwest. Winter, Fall, Summer, Spring, and Mushroom Hunting season. To me, the taste of Fried Morel Mushrooms is the taste of spring. And it looks like another Mushroom season is about to come to an end without me finding a single one.

If Mushroom hunting were a professional sport my Dad and Uncle Lowell would be in the Hall of Fame. In the state of Iowa, they are considered “Mushroom Whisperers”.

I've seen Morel Mushrooms sell anywhere from $40 a pound at a farmers market to $100 a pound online. They are a delicacy and if you want them they only grow in the wild. And finding Shrooms in the woods is an art form. The right ones are delicious. The wrong ones can kill you.

There are however some tips to hunting Morels that you may find useful:

  • Some say sandy soil is the best place to find Morels early in the season because it warms faster than dirt soil.
  • It's also said the best time to find plentiful Morels is when the lilacs start to bloom and the Elm leaves are about the size of a dime.
  • When picking use a mesh bag. Don't use plastic bags they cause the mushrooms to sweat and a quicker deterioration. Plus it's thought that after picked mushrooms they will still release spores. So by using a mesh bag you help spread the seeds of the mushroom wherever you are hunting.
  • Watch out for 'False Morels'. To identify a true Morel Mushroom look for the wrinkly cap shape with a hollow inside. A true Morel is hollow from top to bottom. If it's not it could be of a poisonous variety. Better to ditch it than die. (of course, that can be said about lots of things in life, eh?)

FYI-Best way to prepare Morels ... is to have my Mom cook them. So far I haven't had luck replicating her method. Her recipe seemingly involves cracker crumbs, butter, happiness, and rainbows.

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