Picking False Morels 

Last summer, fall, and this spring have all been so wet, it is the year for mushrooms apparently. I have never picked mushrooms, but everyone lately has been talking about their huge mushroom hauls! 

I had called my grandpa just to schedule a visit, but when he said he was going mushroom picking in the morning with a friend of his, I invited myself along! 

Finding a true Morel mushroom is apparently pretty hard, however there’s lots of Verpas around here, which are known as a “false morel”. They have a smaller head and are taller, whereas morels have a big head and are shorter. 

His friend has been picking verpas steady for the last two weeks, so his two secret spots were pretty picked over. Also mushroom season doesn’t last very long, a lot of the ones we found were starting to dry out already. But we harvested a decent amount! About two gallons I’d say. 

True Morels are edible, but the verpas are generally considered poisonous. To make them edible, you have to boil them for at least fifteen minutes, then you can freeze them for future use, or simmer them in cream and onions. 

The boiling mushrooms didn’t smell great, and you’re not supposed to breathe in the vapors. But once they were simmered in the cream and onions, they smelled delicious. You can serve it hot over toast or potatoes, or Chris was even thinking of putting it over perogies. 

It’s pretty cool to pick something right out of the forest and eat it that day! 

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