April 21, 2013

A KorK Spring Tradition: Dry Land Fishing for Morel Mushrooms!


Happy Sunday KorKers!
     Spring is in full swing here in North Carolina after the long wait and fluctuation of weather, and everything is much prettier than before. With spring’s arrival here in the Carolinas, another great thing occurs, hunting season. However, hunting season isn’t limited to wild turkeys and other fowls, but also mushroom season. 
Yes, MUSHROOMS! 
And if your first thought was of this from The Lord of the Rings, I’m proud. 
     Anyway, this hunting season for wild mushrooms is for a specific type of mushrooms called Morel Mushrooms, or commonly known as Dry Land Fish because of their taste.
                      
     You can find the Morels only in the springtime when the Dogwood tree is in bloom and in somewhat shady areas near or beside creeks or rivers. On my family’s farm, we have numerous acres of land in which creeks run through or border the landline, which has been a prime location for these Morels. My family and I were introduced to these mushrooms a few years ago, and we love to take a walk through the pastures just to find these mushrooms. It’s just like having a late Easter egg hunt in the woods in which the mushrooms are the Easter eggs and treasure combined. The mushrooms blend in well with the surroundings, so it takes a keen eye to spot them, just like finding shark teeth in a massive pile of seashells. Once you find some, all you need to do is to cut them near the base of the stalk (nearest the ground or so) with a knife and place them in a basket or bucket until you collect as many as you are allowed or want.


     Fun Fact: North Carolina, like many states, has a hunting limitation on how many of the Morels that you can collect per season (when harvesting in a public location). [Make sure you check local laws before harvesting them in a public place!]

     NOTE: Morel Mushrooms are HOLLOW inside. If you find one and it is solid on the inside instead- don’t get those or consume them! They may be poisonous! (Make sure to do your research!)

     Once you’ve collected all of the mushrooms, take them into the kitchen and clean the mushrooms (rinse them and make sure they’re clean!) before cooking them in whatever manner you’d like to. For my family, after we clean the Morels, we place them in a large container with saltwater to soak in (at least) overnight.

   

     The next day, after the Morels have soaked, we take them and cut them in half, [ENSURING THAT THEY ARE HOLLOW ON THE INSIDE] before battering and frying them in a skillet like you would prepare other fish. Once they’re finished cooking, enjoy!


     Personally, I really enjoy these mushrooms. They are extremely delicious and to first-time consumers of the mushrooms, take it from me- they don’t really taste like a mushroom, but tastes like catfish or a light-flavored fish (hint the common nickname for them). These mushrooms look somewhat odd, but their looks are quite deceiving, which makes them even more enjoyable after hunting them and preparing them. I hope to those of you who get the opportunity to go dry land fishing that you will- it’s a fun experience with great benefits!

KorK rating: Kool
Until Wednesday KorKers! –Katie <3

3 comments:

  1. I have never even heard of these mushrooms and I was born and raised in NC. I will have to ask my parents if they have seen these. They seem incredible. Thanks for sharing, and your LOTR GIFS are great :D

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  2. I always thought all wild mushrooms were poisonous but clearly I was wrong. I'd like to give these a try although admittedly I probably never will. However if I ever find myself stranded in the NC woods I'll keep an eye out

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  3. Yum. I'm not familiar with these mushrooms, but they sound great. Hopefully I will find some.

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Thanks for taking the time to visit! Please feel free to suggest other trends for me to write about- I would love to hear from you! -Katie