I am up late studying for an exam on Fungi tomorrow, and I just happened to find an article on ESPN Outdoors website about a turkey hunter's favorite second favorite thing about Spring, the Morel. These tasty mushrooms grow throughout the Appalachian range where I live and hunt, and I have been lucky enough to find some in the Spring during turkey season. Until recently, these mushrooms were virtually impossible to grow commercially, so you could sell them for quite a bit of money. However, if you are lucky enough to find some, I would recommend eating them and not selling them because they are quite a treat!
One word of caution here...if you go mushroom hunting, make sure your first few times are spent with someone who is an experienced mushroom hunter or preferably a mycologist. There are some nasty mushrooms out there that will make you very sick, or outright kill you.
The False Morel is one of these that you need to worry about. When cooked, the False Morel produces a toxic vapor called Methylhydrazine. This vapor is one of the same compounds that is in rocket fuel, so it is very toxic. With this particular type of poisoning, the human body functions on a tolerance level. You will feel fine until you reach your body's tolerance level, but once it is reached, you will more than likely die!
I'm not trying to scare anyone because mushroom hunting is great fun and the rewards of finding an edible 'shroom are great. You just need to be very careful while hunting.
Here are some rules to remember for Morel hunting...1. When in doubt, throw it out. 2. If it ain't hollow, don't swallow. 3. If it's red, you are dead.
These rules should be followed because if you are in doubt, it’s not worth accidentally eating a mushroom that could kill you. Morels are hollow, while False Morels are not, and False Morels also have a reddish coloring.
Check out the article I linked and start planning for next year's turkey and Morel season! Here are some pictures I found online...