The man who needs no introductions: my mushroom-hunting husband, Joel George 🙂
It’s a term that results in a wide array of reactions, some of which are:
-What are those?
-Nasty, you like to eat fungus?
-Mushrooms, like the ones on pizza?
-What kind of gun do you use? (smart alecks)
-I am also a morel fanatic, how many have you found this year?
I’m in the last category. My first hunt was in the spring of 1983 when I would have been about the size of a pinky finger. I’ve been hooked ever since and could not imagine missing a morel season. For those of you that don’t know, morels are wild mushrooms prized by gourmet cooks. They grow from the ground, have a short ‘fruiting’ season every spring, tend to favor certain climates and surroundings, and grow in a variety of natural colors from brown to yellow to gray. The combination of these factors make them an elusive prize to forage. As much as I love to eat them (sautéed, breaded, in gravy, in eggs, in my mom’s mushroom soup, etc.), it does not compare to the thrill of the northern Michigan hikes through the forest when I discover these tasty Morchellas, especially when you find them in quantities around a particularly inviting looking area, and every time you take a step, you see 2 or 3 more just down the hill or just on the other side of that log!
Anyway, I guess some people call it a strange hobby. But it seems like people that try it and stumble on a big flush get hooked and develop this feeling every spring that just over the next hill they will find morels in such quantity and size that it brings out a feeling and rush of adrenaline that cannot be compared to any other experience. Some people don’t even like the taste of them but love the outdoors or love that they can bring in $25-$60 per pound or just love the thrill of the hunt as much as I do.
If you’ve never tried it, head north and give it a shot, just stay away from my hunting grounds. 🙂
(shout out to our brother, Adam, who turns 33 this today!)