Monday, 14 April 2008


I love mushroom picking, but mostly I have to wait till autumn to go out a huntin’. There are a few exceptions to this rule, certainly the finest yet most elusive of these is the Morel. Highly prized (and priced!)by chefs the morel has a unique flavour and texture unlike anything else. They are unfortunately extremely difficult to find and grow for only a two or three weeks a year. That time is upon us and as is my custom of the last five years I made the annual pilgrimage to my secret location to see what this year had to offer. It was actually my dad who found the morel patch and brought home a fine collect way back in 1993. It was maybe ten years later that I got around to visiting this spot at the right time of the year after having very little success finding them elsewhere in the intervening years. Since then I’ve collected a modest crop for four years out of the last five. Last year there was nothing due to an exceptionally dry spell, but this Wednesday the patch came good. Five fine black morels where collected and within hours we were dining of a very tasty gratin of morels, cream, potatoes and pancetta. I’ll have my eye out where ever I go for the next couple of weeks, but I suspect that it’ll be another year before fresh Morels come my way again

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