LANESBORO, Minn. (KTTC) -- They are the priceless gems of the deep forest... Definitely a sign of spring. And for those who enjoy Morel mushroom hunting, time may be running out this year. Put on your hiking boots, it's time to hunt for Morels... with our guide of course.
One could call Frank Wright a professional mushroom hunter. Understand. Morels don't grow on trees, especially dead ones. However, that's what you want to find if you hope to be lead to the valued fungus.
Morels typically grow from the roots of dead elm trees, proving the path to getting here wasn't a dead end. Wright finds the first mushroom of the day. "Even though it's been rained on a few times it's still pretty solid. And I like to cut them off rather than break them off because then you're less likely to have a bunch of soil in there," said Wright. "What's totally characteristic of the Morel is that they are totally hollow. And so if you look down the middle there you can see that that is just a totally empty hollow mushroom."
The forests in southeast Minnesota have been known to produce the finest morels available thanks in part to high levels of limestone. Wright knows these forests inside and out.
He also found other forms of edible fungi called Flammulina Velutipes. "So if you have a black stem and an orange top, that's a Flammulina velutipes or a wild Enoki," he said.
With morale running high, and a basket filling up as much as he wanted, Wright decided to call it a day.
The going rate for a pound of fresh-picked Morel mushrooms is roughly 14 dollars a pound. Even so, Frank says that he has never sold a mushroom in his life.
He prefers to sauté them with butter and oil.
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