Morel Mushrooms in Wisconsin

Photo by LadyDragonflyCC

Ah the hunt for the elusive Morel Mushroom is on!  Spring in Wisconsin is so much fun, morels, ramps, fiddleheads, our forests are overflowing with wonderful wild things to eat.  When it comes to mushrooms the morel is the king, in my opinion, the flavor is amazing, once you’ve eaten a morel you’ll be a morel hunter for life!

Find morels can be a bit tricky, in my neck of the woods (northwestern Wisconsin), it is believed the morels come out when the lilacs bloom.  However, this spring has been anything but ordinary and with a little rain I wouldn’t be surprised to see morels a bit sooner than the  lilacs.  According to www.morels.com there have been sightings of morels in southern Wisconsin as of today but the central northern areas haven’t seen much.  The most common places to find morels are near dead elm trees, south facing slopes and semi-moist areas with a decent canopy.  They like a little sun but not too much, quite often you’ll find them under trees close to the trunk.  Oh how I wish it was that easy, just when you think you have it figured out you’ll find one among a group of pine trees or near a fruit tree.  I even found one growing right next to my black walnut tree!

Obviously when hunting any wild edible identification is very important and there are false morels out there.  One trick that really helps me to be sure is to cut them open, lengthwise, and if you have a true morel it will be hollow inside.  Click here for a great website that will help you with proper identification.

Hunting morels is the tricky part, cooking them is the easy part!  They have a flavor all their own and there’s no need to add to it or cover it up.  My all-time favorite way to eat morels is to saute them in a little butter with a big fat juicy steak cooked over an open fire but here are a few more recipes if steak isn’t your thing…

Fried Morel Mushrooms

Morel Mushroom Soup

Venison with Morel Sauce

Roast Chicken with Morels and Onions

Morel and Wild Leek Lasagna

Turkey Tenderloin with Morel Mushroom Sauce

Here is a great time-lapse video of morels growing in the wild…

This You Tube video was produced by Chris Matherly, for more of videos by Chris click here.

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Thank you! -TWT

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11 Responses to Morel Mushrooms in Wisconsin

  1. jeff says:

    i love hunting morels i cant wait to get out there and find some. plus i get an excuse to get out into the woods.

  2. Pingback: The Wisconsin Times Podcast - April 6, 2012 - Episode #12 | The Wisconsin Times

  3. walter shields says:

    Hi I love the film. Could you tell me how long it took the mushroom to mature? I’m 69years old and been hunting for them since I was six.I have three grown daughters that still hunt with me every year.Thank you again for the film

    • Mary Peterson says:

      Thanks Walter, I can’t take credit for this film, according to the film producer this mushroom came up overnight, however according to the comments on You Tube this is somewhat controversial.
      Yes, morel hunting is so much fun! Happy hunting, I hope you find lots of them this year! And thanks for stopping by our website, come back again!

  4. georgie rynish says:

    WE are wondering what the spores are from this mushroom. how do these mushroom reseed themselves?
    two years ago we had a lot last yar none this year a few.

    • Mary Peterson says:

      I’ve heard that if you cut the mushroom about half way down the stem when harvesting, leaving a partial stem and roots in the ground, that they will reseed. Many attempts have been made to grow this mushroom but I am unaware of anyone being successful. This is an “elusive” mushroom, I think you have to have a little luck on your side to find them. Thanks for stopping by our website!

      • Rose says:

        Ive found small ones early in the season .left them alone and came back later. they dolbue in size every 4 days it seems, till of course they reach maturity(depending in the weather)

        • Reneboy says:

          Over 30 years ago, when we lived in Seattle for a short time, we found morels goiwrng in the neighbor’s ash pile (from their fireplace) which was actually in our yard (very narrow space between the houses). We had never seen them before, but succeeded as you did in identifying, eating, and enjoying them. I believe that I read that they like to grow in the ashes from wildland fires, and unlike most other wild mushrooms, they appear in the spring instead of the late summer and fall. So if you burn wood, try mixing a healthy dose of clean wood ash where you intend to sow morel spores.

          • Raja says:

            They will be more likely to repaepar if you pinch them off (or cut them) close to ground level rather than pull them out. Put them in a mesh bag to carry as you search for more and some spores may drop through and give chance for more to grow in the future. In addition to ashy areas, dead or dying elms are a good place to look for them. I love morels…tasty, and the search is fun, too.

          • Myimane says:

            Yes. We innoculated some logs with Shi’take speors, and we harvested several pounds last year, which we deydrated and use in soups and stews. They’re delicious!I would love to know more about wild mushroom foraging, though, and it’s on our “to do” list ;).

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