Friday, July 8, 2011

Stalking the Wild Morel

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 4:06 PM

UPDATE: Click here to see a slideshow of the day's hunting expedition.

A fistful of morels

While doing research on a Year of Idaho Food article for the July 13 issue of BW, I learned that mushroom hunters in many cultures used to be looked on as favorably as, say, someone who collects toe lint. “Fungus-hunters,” as they were called, were regarded as “idiots of the lower orders.”

Times have changed. In once mushroom-phobic America, wild morels, porcinis and chanterelles are now considered luxury foods, and Idaho mushroom advocate Chris Florence wants to make sure Treasure Valley chefs are getting that message.

That’s why in late May, Florence invited several local restaurant types into the mountains north of Boise to do a little mushroom hunting for themselves. For most, it was their first foray into the world of fungi and ended with a delicious camp-stove lunch of sauteed wild mushrooms that didn’t taste even the least bit idiotic.

As a result, you're likely to find a few more wild mushrooms on local menus.

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