Michigan knows mushrooms

. May 1, 2015.

Morel season is here—as if we really needed a reason to get out and enjoy the warmer air. Between Boyne City’s annual morel mushroom festival, May 14-17, and Mesick’s morel fest, May 8-10—both festivals are attended by morel enthusiasts from all over the world—Michigan is a premier location for one of nature’s most prized fungi. And Washtenaw County plays host, too. But you have to know what you’re looking for. In the early spring, when the daytime highs reach 60 degrees and the lows don’t dip below 40, morels start to pop out on south facing slopes in open areas at the forest’s edge. Look for ash, aspen, and old oak trees. Dead and decaying trees also make for prime hunting grounds. As the season progresses, you’ll have to venture further into the woods to north facing slopes where you’ll find bigger, yellow morels. To cleanse your bounty, soak in cold water. Halve and saute in butter. Perhaps toss in with shallots and fresh asparagus, farfalle and pecorino. False morels exist, so do some identification research before the forage. Good luck and bon appetit. 

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