Michigan Mushroom Nation!

The First Morels this Year  05/02/2010

The First Morels this Year 05/02/2010, photo by rickrjw

The TIME Magazine feature Mushroom Nation linked over to our feature on yellow chanterelle mushrooms. In it, James Beard Award–winning food writer Josh Ozersky takes a look at how wild mushrooms are becoming as American as apple pie. He writes that:

…for all their exoticism, they’re still pretty cheap. Even a mom-and-pop restaurant can make a mood-altering dish with some woodsy mushrooms, roasted up with salt and served along side a gelatinous hunk of braised short rib. A few fresh chanterelles in a little omelet with some small spring asparagus, and you’ve got an appetizer of unsurpassable elegance. Unlike their fetishized cousins the truffles, people still use mushrooms as staple items and not luxuries — a practice that might not persist if they become more popular. They add a level of flavor and texture to everything they touch, and there’s a variety for nearly every use, from the delicacy of enoki to the almost obscene potency of portobellos.

Compared with the crappy little button mushrooms you see at the supermarket, de-natured and nude, and grown somewhere far from the forest floor, they represent an instant ticket to a better vision of life. If a restaurant, you can charge for that; if cooking at home, you can brag on it. Either way, it costs little. And of course there are no calories to speak of in mushrooms, so even the most ascetic of eaters can consume them with abandon. They’re apparently loaded with various unpronounceable anti-oxidants too, so that’s another benefit.

Read on at TIME and find more about mushrooms on Michigan in Pictures. It won’t be long now before morels make their appearance in Michigan woods!

Rick bagged his first blonde morels in 2010 on May 2nd and says (with true morel hunter evasiveness) that he found them “in the woods”. See this photo background bigilicious and check out more in his Boyne City, Michigan slideshow.

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