Morel Mushrom Season in Northern Michigan
Each spring in Northern Michigan, we tie up our hiking boots, put on the bug spray, and take off into the woods, hunting for the morel mushrooms. The tasty fungi grow in every county in Michigan, sprouting up April thru June. When the daytime temps are above 50 degrees, and there’s no more freezing at night, the elusive mushroom begins popping up. Morels like warmth and moisture.
Hunting for Morel Mushrooms
If you’ve never hunted for morel mushrooms, you’re missing out. You don’t need a license, and it’s a fun way to get outside with family or friends. It’s also a challenge. It’s like those eye-spy books but in real life amongst nature. Your eyes are searching the forest floor for what almost resembles a toadstool. Their honeycomb texture and shades of white, brown, yellow, gray, and black blend in with the leaves, trees, and fallen logs. They’re also only a few inches tall, making them easily covered by fallen leaves.
It’s a challenge to find a morel, but that’s half the fun. The good news is, once you find one or two, they become easier to spot. Just don’t give up, keep walking, looking, and think like a mushroom. Yes, like a mushroom. If you needed a warm spot to grow that was moist, where would you be? Believe it or not, this helps!
Cooking & Eating Morel Mushrooms
If you’ve walked all day searching for morels and you were lucky to find a handful or hopefully more, it’s time to reap the benefits. Before you get to cook and eat them, wash them well. Tiny bugs like to hide in the honeycomb texture and can be hard to spot. I suggest soaking them first and then rinsing them well.
After you’ve washed and rinsed, it’s time to slice them up. A favorite way to enjoy morel mushrooms is by sautéing them in a cast-iron skillet with a few tablespoons of salted butter. After they’ve been sautéed, you can eat them by themselves and enjoy their unique flavor, or better yet, add them to a grilled steak!
Morel mushrooms also add a delicious flavor to omelets, soups, and pasta dishes. However, you choose to eat them, enjoy!