Morel Mushrooms – The right way to Store and Protect For Future Use

Morels, like all fungi and mushrooms, have a particularly quick shelf life once picked. Nevertheless, there are a number of ways to store morels for future use.

As soon as picked, morels must be washed, cleaned and refrigerated quickly if they are to be eaten or frozen for storage. Morels (particularly those later in the picking season) are attractive to ants and other insects, each for the interior spores, and for the tough shelter they offer.

Morels, like many wild fungi and mushrooms, go soggy very quickly if not properly dealt with or stored, because of the spore content material within them. Morels are largely water, anyway, so they do not hold up well, particularly in heat. Do not pack them too tightly when picking or storing, as morels compact easily.

Since salt bothers (and even kills) many insects, one of many best ways to clean morels is to dissolve 2 tbsp of salt into each quart of warm water used, and immerse the morels in the solution, washing them for several minutes, letting them stand for one-half hour, then draining. When you want a more thorough wash, either slit the morels in half lengthways before immersing, or puncture the narrow finish to allow simpler drainage after washing within the salty solution. Make sure you cut off the fibrous root-like tendrils, before washing, which can be likely to be hooked up to the bottom of the morel when picking. This root-like mass, and the valleys of the morel honeycomb, are likely to pick up small particles of dust, sand and humus, contributing to a gritty, unpleasant texture with poorly cleaned morels.

Morels may be dehydrated, using a regular fruit dehydrator (available at Wal-Mart). Make sure that the morels are completely dehydrated, then store in a paper bag in a dry, dark pantry. To rehydrate morels, merely soak them for 1-2 hours in warm water or thin sauce.

Dried morels are nice for taking on a backpacking or camping journey, because of their light weight, durability and ease of rehydrating. They’re excellent complements to almost any meat or eggs, and work well with true wildcraft harvests of boiled cattail root or fried dandelion greens! Many campers use dried morels like chewing tobacco, letting the morels rehydrate between gums and cheek for a real time-delayed style explosion.

To freeze morels, wash & drain them, then in a deep fry pan, melt butter, add pepper (or garlic, if desired) and the morels, and cook over medium low heat for as much as 5-eight minutes. With the liquid, store the mushrooms in an airtight container or freezer bag within the fridge for up to 6 months.

If utilizing morels within 2-3 days of picking, wash thoroughly and drain till dry. Place loosely in a paper bag and store within the fridge, as you’d with white button mushrooms.

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