A Taste of the Woods: Morel Hunting
Soda Popp's shrooming insights
1 Don't look straight down; scan the ground 8 to 10 feet out. Look behind you on occasion, too; sometimes they can only be seen from certain angles.
2 If you find one, circle back around it. There may be more nearby.
3 Carefully check recently disturbed ground, such as where a tree fell.
4 Cut at ground level with a sharp pocket knife, trying not to crush the stem. Avoid getting dirt into the morel.
5 While hunting, carry the mushrooms in a plastic bag. They'll bounce and break less than in a paper or mesh bag.
6 Make sure you have permission to hunt on the land, and know what you are looking for.
7 Rinse them several minutes in a pitcher tilted under a running faucet so it overspills. Try to use morels soon after your hunt, though they will keep up to a week in the fridge in a slightly open paper bag.
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® March/April 2012.)