Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Morels in Mississauga? Who Can ID them?

Are these true morels?
The other evening on a walk in the woods along the Lake in Mississauga, I spotted what I believe are morels, a 'mushroom' if you will, but really an edible fungus.

From my description, my mom thinks they are morels, but she hasn't seen them in the flesh. The time of year (late May), the location where I found them (woods, near pine trees, rich soil), plus their general appearance (picture) leads me to believe they are true morels: They are hollow, the cap and stem are one unit, and the color seems correct.

They have no 'mushroom' smell, though mom says that is usually more pronounced when they are cooking. The only other morel I have ever seen 'in the flesh' is a large black one I picked years ago near Nelson, in the Kootenays, in British Columbia.

But without a good morel picker to positively ID these fungi, I am hesitant to cook them up. I'm posting their picture here, in hopes that someone knows, or knows someone who knows morels, and can give me the okay to eat them. I stored them in a paper bag in the fridge, but I don't think they will keep very long.

Usually with wild mushrooms, you cook them ASAP. But if I can get a positive ID on these, I will know where to look for them next year.