This ugly little mushroom sure gets a lot of attention in Northern Michigan during the month of May. There are festivals for it, restaurants make everything “Morel”, and local songsters croon over it. Why all the buzz, you ask? The Morel is a delicacy for a reason. Its elusiveness and delicious flavor has people scrambling for it. Every year in May for 55 years, the people of Boyne City, Michigan have held the National Morel Mushroom Festival. This year it is May 17-20, 2018. Secret hunting spots are revealed and recipes shared. The local restaurants feature the Morel. There are Craft Fairs, races, hikes and tasting events. Thousands of people come to this little town to experience the ambience of this mushroom. A good year can yield hundreds of Morels. Of course, there are plenty of hunting spots all over Northern Michigan to find them. We have them growing right on our land at The House on the Hill Bed & Breakfast in Ellsworth. Between the mushroom and the Trillium that grows this time of year, it’s a sure sign of Spring!
Did you know there is a right and wrong way to pick Morels? You are encouraged to pinch off the mushroom off at the stem, right above the soil. By doing this, you are encouraging growth the following year. There are also four distinct rules to be followed if you are wondering if you have a true morel mushroom, or a false one. Don’t worry, there are easily recognized differences between the real ones and false.
Rule #1: When in doubt, throw it out! Be 100 percent sure you have a true morel before eating it.
Rule #2: If it isn’t hollow, don’t swallow! True morels are hollow inside. If you slice open a true morel, you should find a hollow core. With a false morel, you will find mushroom flesh. A true morel will feel weightless.
Rule #3: If it’s wavy, don’t make it gravy! Caps of false morels are wavy, not pitted. True morels have a pitted look, not the “brain like” wavy look of a false morel.
Rule #4: If it’s reddish, you could be dead-ish! A reddish brown shade is frequently (not always) found on false morels. Do not rely on this rule or any rule alone.
At The End of the Day, It’s All About the Stay! Come Stay With us at The House on the Hill Bed and Breakfast
If you are thinking of a romantic getaway in Michigan, then what better time than Spring? Michigan Bed and Breakfasts are a better way to stay. With a personalized touch and great breakfasts, you can be assured of comfortable lodging. Here at The House on the Hill Bed and Breakfast, you can even hunt for Morels on our 53 acres of private property. Finders keepers! The House on the Hill Bed & Breakfast is nestled in between the charming resort towns and harbors of Northwest Michigan. From our three course gourmet breakfasts to our beautiful forested countryside and lake, you are guaranteed to be at one of the best bed and breakfasts in Michigan. Visit our website at thehouseonthehill.com for reservations, or call us at 231-588-6304 to plan your vacation!
2000-2005, MushroomExpert.com Kuo, M. (2001). Edibility rules for morels. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.com web site.