Early Spring is worth searching burnt areas for fire morels…
In older Australian literature these Morels go under the name M.elata but recent DNA work by the author of Tall Trees & Mushrooms has shown to be M.eximia a globally occurring species associated with fire.
Flavour and texture is best when collected young. They have to be cooked well, some people have a reaction similar to Coprinus when consumed with alcohol. So always sample a small piece and give it a day.
Careful collection using a pastry brush to clean as you go greatly improves the culinary experience. They are grey initially becoming some what beige, at this point they are best for eating before the flesh thins.
They dry easily and can be kept in the freezer. You will find morels in ”mushroom dried mixes” imported from Europe. To re-hydrate use enough hot water to soak up without leaving excess. Morels are traditionally used to flavour sauce. I like to use a liquid filling of egg and garlic. Morels are a natural flavour enhancer and the Chinese like to cook them with chicken.
Found in NSW, Vic, SA, WA.
Making a spore print or culture helps to preserve the species. Cultivation attempts have proven successful from spore and clone, transfer to grain, transfer to supplemented sawdust and are cultivated in many parts of the world now with China having the largest production. Mature morels can be wrapped in baking paper for a few days till the spores are released as a creamy- yellowish powder. A Morel slurry can be made easily from spore or mature Morels fresh or dried and from cultured agar plates.
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