These are the first mushrooms growing in spring. Their large and fleshy fruit bodies, 2-25 cm high, consist of:
- caps (up to 15 cm tall, up to 10 cm in diameter),
- legs (up to 10 cm long and up to 5 cm in diameter).
The morel is ovoid, spherical-bell-shaped, conical or ellipsoid, with a network of longitudinal and transverse oblique convex ribs, cellular, nozdrevat, often associated with the leg below. From the outside, it resembles a honeycomb, and in the section it can be seen that there are cells only on its outer side. Its color varies from dirty grayish-white to dark brown, depending on the type and age of the fruit body.
1. Morel conic (lat. Morchella conica), author of the photo: Jörg Hempel, CC BY-SA 2.0 de. 2. Morel more tall (lat. Morchella elata), author of the photo: Jason Hollinger, CC BY 2.0. 3. Morel steppe (lat. Morchella steppicola), author of the photo: Andrew Butko, CC BY-SA 3.0. 4. Morel edible (lat. Morchella esculenta), author of the photo: Björn S ..., CC BY-SA 2.0.
The morel's leg is glossy, white or yellow-brown, cylindrical, slightly widening or very thick at the top or bottom, sometimes furrowed or longitudinally folded, scaly or smooth, fragile.
The whole pioneer fruit body is usually hollow inside, consists of painted, strongly branched hyphae with a diameter of 5–10 microns. Hyphae are separated by evenly spaced partitions (septa), in the center of which there is a pore, through which the migration of nutrients and organelles of cells takes place.
Photo author: Dan Molter (shroomydan), CC BY-SA 3.0
The pulp of the fungus is waxy, often fragile and thin, with a pleasant smell.
Photo by: TOMMES-WIKI, CC BY-SA 3.0
Morels reproduce asexually or sexually.
- Reproduction by parts of the mycelium (the body of the fungus) or conidia (fixed spores) refers to the asexual method.
- Sexual reproduction is carried out using ascospores (cells with a half set of chromosomes), ripening in bags (asca). Bags of fungi are formed in fruit bodies (apothecia), the formation of which is preceded by the sexual process called somatogamy. At the same time, vegetative hyphae of different individuals merge.
Morels are not lamellar or tubular mushrooms. Hymenophore is smooth. The sporiferous layer (hymen) is located along the bottom and the slopes of the ribs and consists of bags with 8 ascospores. Aski are large, cylindrical, rounded at the top. Ascospores are ellipsoidal or spherical, with an uneven surface or smooth, arranged in one row, multi-core in maturity. Morel spores may be colorless or slightly yellowish. They can be seen under an electron microscope. Displacement of spores is regulated by solar radiation and occurs gradually.
The life cycle of morels begins with the germination of multi-core ascospores. The seedling gives rise to the primary haploid multi-core mycelium, which exists for a very short time. Ascospores can germinate even after prolonged rest or storage, after 4-5 years. Morel hyphae of the primary mycelium form anastomoses (a combination of two hyphae of one mycelium) or merge with the hyphae of the other primary mycelium. The merger results in a diploid multi-core organism. In the future, he is able to enter into symbiosis with higher plants, to form conidial sporulation or sclerotia (resting stage). The main reason for the formation of sclerotia is a deficiency of nutrients in the soil. In the life cycle of morels, the asexual (vegetative) stage prevails.
Photo by: Jason Hollinger, CC BY 2.0
Where do morels grow and when can they be collected?
Morel mushrooms are common in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere: North America and Eurasia. They are also found in the mountainous regions of Turkey, India, Guatemala, and Mexico. Some species are known in areas with Mediterranean and subtropical climates. In the southern hemisphere, few members of the genus grow in the forests of Australia, Tasmania, Chile and Argentina. In Russia, 5 species of morels grow. Basically, they occupy mixed and deciduous forests, but some species are found in the taiga.
The first spring fungi appear in April-May, and morels grow a little later than the lines. Depending on the weather, the time of their appearance may shift by 2-3 weeks. The morel season begins at a time when the forest is free of snow, and the fronds of a fern unfold in it. The collection time of morels is short and is only two weeks. Less often mushrooms appear in the fall, but during this period among the abundance of other mushrooms they have little practical significance.
Morels occupy the slopes of ravines, forest glades and edges, thickets of willow, aspen groves, roadsides of forest roads, logging. Often and in large numbers they are found on the burned areas, 2-3 years after the fire, they grow on charred stumps and fireplaces, where morels and stitches can be collected most successfully. All snowdrop mushrooms prefer bright places and wet weather: when the soil dries out and a lot of grass appears on it, representatives of the morel genus cannot be found.
Author photo: Epegeiro, CC BY-SA 3.0 pl
What is the difference between morels and lines?
Lines (lat. Gyromitra) - These are mushrooms that are often confused with morels. Both appear at about the same time. In the market they are sold under the common name "morels". But the lines are more poisonous, especially in their raw form, and in some countries they are referred to as inedible at all. The following are the differences between these mushrooms.
- The surface of the cap line does not contain cells, it is sinuous-wavy (similar to the brain or peeled walnuts), asymmetrical and does not grow to the leg. In morel, this part of the mycelium has a more regular shape, it is covered with convex ribs of different depth cells and in almost all species grows to the stem.
- The color of the cap is yellow-brown, brown, less often brown or grayish, often with a reddish tinge. The morel has a dirty grayish white or dark brown.
Left photo: morel edible (lat. Morchella esculenta), author of the photo: Björn S ..., CC BY-SA 2.0, right photo: plain (lat. Gyromitra esculenta), author of the photo: Botaurus, Public Domain
- It is also possible to distinguish a morel from a line on a leg. Leg stitches shorter (3-6 cm) and thicker (up to 5 cm in diameter). It is uneven and often swollen at the base. Sometimes it does not happen at all. The morel's stalk is approximately equal in length to the cap. In addition, it is more slender.
- The body of the line is not hollow inside: it is filled with partitions and convolutions. On a cut it is white with a violet shade. The morel hat and leg are usually empty inside, and the pulp of the fungus is white, wax-like and fragile.
Left photo: Steppe Morel (Latin Morchella steppicola), author of the photo: stergios, CC BY-SA 3.0, right photo: Giant line (Latin Gyromitra gigas), author of the photo: Vavrin, CC BY-SA 3.0
- Another difference between the mushrooms is in the place of growth. The lines are more common under the birch and spruce. Morels need to be harvested in willow, alder thickets, in oak groves and aspen forests, but not under the trees, but in the glades.
By the way, the common line (Latin: Gyromitra esculenta) (in the photo) is often referred to as a false morel. But his hat is easily distinguished by the external signs described above. Photo by: Koongo940 (Fréderic Coune), CC BY-SA 3.0
Is it possible to eat morels and how to cook them correctly?
In practice, morels belong to the group of conditionally edible mushrooms of 3 quality categories. This means that you can eat them, but not raw, but after proper pre-treatment. The fact is that morels contain harmful Helwellic acid, which has a hepatotropic and hemolytic effect. Therefore, these mushrooms can not be eaten raw. Before cooking, they should be well washed and scalded with boiling water. Then mushrooms are boiled in salted water for 10 minutes. From the heat, the poison is not destroyed, but goes into the broth: it must be drained and the mushrooms squeezed and rinsed several times in hot water. Only after that you can start cooking morel dishes. They can be boiled, stewed or fried, but in any case it is advisable not to consume more than 200 grams of morels per day.
Mushrooms can be dried in the sun: direct sunlight destroys toxins. Dried morels are stored in a dry container. And in the frozen form they can be kept in the freezer for up to a year.
Only young morels can collect and eat. Old inedible fungi are easy to identify by a change in color: with more than one hat morel becomes almost black (see photo). Author photo: Jerzy Strzelecki, CC BY-SA 3.0
Morel species, names and photos
- Morel edible (ordinary, real) (lat. Morchella esculenta) - conditionally edible mushroom. It grows in mixed, coniferous and deciduous forests of temperate latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere - in Eurasia (up to Japan) and North America, and is also found in Australia and on the island of Tasmania.
Its cap is ovoid, narrow, elongated upwards, with rounded, honeycomb, cells of various sizes. Its height reaches 3-7 cm, diameter - 3-6 cm. The color of the cap is brown or ocher-brown. The ribs are lighter than the inside of the cells. The foot of the morel ordinary has a height of 3-9 cm and a diameter of 2.5-3.5 cm. It is white, widened at the base, longitudinally wrinkled. With age, the leg acquires a yellowish or creamy tint; in a fully matured fungus, it becomes gray and velvety. The cap of this type of morels is completely fused with the edges of the leg: on this basis, the fungus can be distinguished from a similar externally morel hat. The fruit body is hollow inside. The pulp of the fungus is white, waxy, very fragile and thin. It has a pleasant smell and vague taste. Edible morels are rare, although this is the most common species of the genus.
Author photo: Gnomefilliere, CC BY 3.0
Author photo: Andreas Kunze, CC BY-SA 3.0
- Morchella conical, ballet (lat. Morchella conica) - Mushroom category III (with medium taste), conditionally edible. It is more common in pine, sometimes in deciduous forests, in forest clearings, among shrubs and even outside the forest, sometimes in the tundra, gardens and parks of Central Asia, grows in Tien Shan to an altitude of 2600 m above sea level.
Conical morels, like lines, appear in April-May, occasionally in June. Outwardly, they look like a morel. The cap of mushrooms has a diameter of up to 5 and a height of up to 10 cm. It is conical, less often ovoid, fused with a leg, brown or yellowish-brown, with a mesh-cellular surface. The cells are somewhat elongated. Leg up to 5 cm long and up to 2 cm thick, cylindrical, sometimes narrowed at the base, white or slightly yellow with longitudinal grooves. Morel flesh is wax-like, thin, brittle. Morels of this species grow well where there is a carrion. Knowing this, some gardeners plant them around old apple trees. Some classifications do not distinguish this species as independent, relating it to morel edible.
Author photo: Beentree, CC BY-SA 4.0
- Morel tall (lat. Morchella elata) - conditionally edible, rather rare mushroom, outwardly similar to both previous species, but differing in darker color and large size of the fruit body. The edges of its cells stand out especially. They are dark brown in color, unlike the olive-brown inside of the "honeycomb". The height of the cap is 4-10 cm, the diameter is 3-5 cm. Inside the cells close to the triangular or diamond shape there are limiting, narrow, horizontal folds. With age, the color of the entire cap darkens and becomes brown. The stem, 5–15 cm high and 3–4 cm in diameter, is thickened upwards; it has a white granular surface. With age, the color of the legs changes to yellow-brown or yellow.
High morels grow in forests of all types on fertile soil, on fires, forest edges, in sandy and mossy places. In Russia, they are found everywhere except in the north. In Europe, considered delicacies.
Author photo: Johannes Harnisch (jrussula), CC BY-SA 3.0
- Morel semi-free, or hybrid (lat. Mitrophora semiliberablue. Morchella semilibera) - conditionally edible mushroom, common in the Rhineland of Germany and listed in the Red Book of Poland.
The cap of the mushroom is bell-shaped-cone-shaped, with yellow-brown cells, of irregular rhombic shape. The edges of the cells are darker, even black. The height of the cap reaches 2-3 cm, its diameter is 1.5-2.5 cm. It does not grow together with the leg, its edges are located freely. The leg is long (4-7 cm long and 1-1.5 cm in diameter), thickened at the base, yellow or white, with a striated or smooth granular surface. The pulp of the fungus is white, fragile, waxy, does not have a special taste and aroma.
You need to look for hybrid morels in May in deciduous and mixed forests, in parks, groves and gardens, in grass or on bare soil.
Author photo: Horst, CC BY-SA 4.0
- Morel steppe (lat. Morchella steppicola) - conditionally edible mushroom and the largest morel growing on the territory of Russia, the total height of which can reach 25 cm, and weight - 2 kg. It grows in open spaces: in the steppe and forest-steppe, especially where there is organic matter after grazing animals. It appears when the daytime temperature stops dropping below + 15 ° С.
The cap of the steppe morel is spherical, 2-10 cm in height and in diameter, grayish-brown, inside it is divided into sections. The edges of the cap adhere to a short white or creamy stem, having a height of 1-2 cm. Fruit bodies develop very quickly and live only 5-7 days. In the conditions of a wet spring coming after a snow-free winter, there are a lot of mushrooms, they form “witch circles”. In dry years, steppe morels do not appear at all. The fruit body of the fungus is very dense, it has practically no internal cavity, and its cap is covered with small numerous cells. The pulp is elastic, white, soft.
There is a mushroom in Central Asia, Russia, Poland, Germany. In its small cells, earth or sand is packed, from which the morel mushroom must be cleaned. It is recommended to wash it after boiling, and cut it in 2 halves before cooking.
Photo by Andrew Butko, CC BY-SA 3.0
- Morel thistle (lat. Morchella crassipes) - a rare conditionally edible mushroom, listed in the Red Book of Ukraine. It is a fairly large mushroom, the total height of which reaches 23.5 cm. Its cap is cylindrical, broadly ovate, conical or oval, yellow-gray or olive-brown, 5-8.5 height (maximum 12) cm, diameter 3-5 ( maximum 10) cm. In mature condition, the cap grows against the stem. Cap cells are coarse, with torn reddish-brown ribs. The stem is yellowish-white, with uneven longitudinal grooves, hilly and thick at the bottom, resembling bare tree roots. Leg height 4-17 cm, diameter 4-8 cm. Flesh fragile, white, wax-like, pleasant to the taste.
Thick-coated morels grow in North America, in Western and Central Europe in deciduous forests on fertile soils.
Author photo: Gerhard Koller, CC BY-SA 3.0
- Morel round, or yellow (lat. Morchella rotunda) - conditionally edible fungus with a total height of 12-20 cm. The cap is rounded ovoid or round, 5.5-8.5 cm tall, 5-10 cm in diameter. Cells on it are located in the depth of undulating and irregular rib-folds. The color of the ribs is yellowish, the bottom and walls of the cells are brownish-ocher. Leg 7–12 cm high, 4–8 cm in diameter, white, with folds and thickening at the base, pubescent in the upper part, yellowing or brown with age. The flesh is white, fragile, with a pleasant taste.
Morel grows in the south of the temperate strip of the Northern Hemisphere, is found in the Crimea. Some classifications view this species as synonymous with the species. Morchella esculenta.
Author photo: Strobilomyces, CC BY-SA 3.0
The benefits and harm of morels
Morels are a traditional food in many countries around the world. As delicacies to the main dishes, morels and lines are served in European restaurants. The composition of mushrooms includes a rich complex of organic and mineral substances:
- up to 25% of proteins
- essential amino acids (threonine, lysine, valine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine),
- All B vitamins,
- minerals (Zn, K, Mg, Cu, Ca, Na, Fe, etc.).
In traditional eastern medicine of Asian countries (India, China, etc.) morels are used in the form of decoctions, teas and infusions. The literature indicates that due to the use of fruit bodies and aqueous extracts of species M. Deliciosa (morel delicacy), M. Conica (morel conic), M. Esculenta (morel edible) improves the function of the gastrointestinal tract, increases immunity, reduces inflammatory processes. In Russia infusions of morel conical were used to treat cataracts, myopia and age-related changes in vision. Modern scientific studies have confirmed the medicinal properties of fungi M. conica and M. esculenta. Substances included in their composition, stimulate the immune system and improve metabolic processes.
In addition to the useful properties of morels, there are contraindications. They are not recommended for children under 12 years of age, pregnant women and nursing mothers. In addition, improperly cooked, raw or old morels can cause poisoning, destruction of red blood cells and jaundice.
Photo by: TOMMES-WIKI, CC BY-SA 3.0
Morel poisoning: symptoms and first aid
Old, raw and improperly prepared morel can be poisoned. Symptoms of toxicosis begin to appear about 6 hours after eating mushrooms. First appear:
- stomach pain,
- vomiting bile
Depending on the age and health of the affected, morel poisoning can be tolerated harder or more easily. Дальнейшее распространение яда по телу приводит к разрушению эритроцитов в крови и, как следствие:
- к слабости,
- побледнению кожных покровов.
Если и после этого помощь не будет оказана, то спустя сутки яд сморчков спровоцирует разрушение клеток печени, поражение почек и мочевыводящих путей. There will be discomfort during urination.
The third stage - the effect of toxins on the nervous system:
- poisoned person becomes inadequate
- he has convulsions, hallucinations,
- he may fall into a coma.
Poisoning with mushrooms can last from days to 2 weeks, depending on the state of the human immune system. Morels contain a large amount of bilirubin, so poisoning may additionally be accompanied by yellowing of the skin.
There is no antidote against the morel toxin, and it is necessary to remove the poison from the body mechanically. In this case, the following procedures will help:
- gastric lavage,
- cleansing enemas,
- reception of activated carbon or other sorbent,
- use a large amount of warm liquid,
- and you must call a doctor to continue the necessary treatment.
Author photo: Dish of morels photo, CC BY-SA 3.0
Growing more smashes at home
Morels are more often saprophytes (that is, a dead substrate of organic origin serves as a source of food for them). Some species are able to form mycorrhiza with higher plants, with coniferous or deciduous trees.
Saprophytic species of morels people introduced into the culture and developed several ways of their cultivation. For example, in France, saprophytes, growing under fallen apples, are successfully bred in open ground. There have also been attempts to grow morels in greenhouses on an industrial scale, but they have not yet been crowned with success.
Mushrooms that grow well on the burnt-out areas in Germany have learned to grow, falling asleep pieces of mycelium recessed into the soil with wood ash or paper ash. Cow manure, well-rotten compost or humus is used as a fertilizer. In autumn, the plantation with mushrooms is covered with fallen leaves or straw mats, which are removed in the spring.
You can try another way of growing morels: put mushroom caps into a bucket with warm rain water and shake well. The resulting solution should be watered prepared bed. Such work is best done in cloudy, wet weather in April and May. Ridges are recommended to be mulched with humus and covered with sawdust or old bark until the next spring. Under favorable conditions, mushrooms will appear on them next year. The optimal soil temperature for the growth of morels is 15-16 ° C.
Photo by: Grzegorz Browarski, CC BY-SA 4.0
How to distinguish between lines and morels
The lines, like the morels, are the very first mushrooms that appear in the forest after winter hibernation.
They are often confused with each other, which is dangerous for health, as the lines, unlike morels, in their raw form are poisonous. Eating these mushrooms in food is possible only after the correct, in several stages, heat treatment.
With the usual boiling or frying, there is a high probability of severe poisoning, which can even lead to death.
External differences line and morel
Morels belong to the group of edible mushrooms, and their cap resembles with its outlines a dark brown cone up to 8 cm in height. Its entire surface is divided into cells of irregular shape and different size. The morel hat rests on a thin, graceful stem of almost the same length. The whole mushroom looks elongated upwards, as if it is heading for the sky.
Outlines line - just the opposite. He is always squat and stocky, as if he does not want to move away from the earth's surface. Often, its wide, wrinkled leg, resembling a yellowish-white or pinkish cylinder that expands downwards, is generally not visible from under the ground.
Only a cap of irregular shape is selected on the surface, all in folds and convolutions. It is as if the suede surface resembles a walnut or human brain. The fruit body has a brown color, usually with a red or yellow shade, and in size reaches 10 cm in diameter.
Types of lines
The above is the description of the most common variety of lines - line of ordinary. Most often it can be found in coniferous forests.
Especially like a line of pine forests, where selects places in the sun. He also likes to grow in clearings or recent fires.
The first mushrooms in favorable weather conditions appear already in the second half of April. You can meet them until the very end of spring, and sometimes at the beginning of summer.
Read More When to collect mushrooms
Giant lines has a strong external similarity with the line ordinary. Their only, but significant difference is in size. The fruit body of a giant stitch can grow up to 30 cm in diameter.
In addition, his cap often has a lighter shade. This variety of lines prefers to grow in spruce or pine forests without undergrowth, where the soil warms well and there is enough sun.
Just like morels, the giant species grows from the end of April.
Autumn lines, unlike its counterparts, appears only in July. It is present in both coniferous and deciduous forests. If the first two species grow only on the soil, then the autumn line often chooses rotting tree trunks as a place of residence.
This mushroom is extremely poisonous, and it cannot be eaten even after thorough preparation according to all the rules. The appearance of the autumn line resembles a clown cap with two or three “horns” worn on a dirty white wand-leg.
The color of the cap is usually saturated brown or almost black (in old mushrooms), and the surface resembles velvet in appearance.
If you do decide to collect and prepare the lines, you should know the correct technologies for their preparation, to minimize the effects of dangerous toxins - gyromitrins, contained in large amounts in raw mushrooms.
- The most common method of cooking mushrooms is to boil them. Boil lines should be in a large volume of water for at least 15 minutes. Then the water is drained and the mushrooms are thoroughly washed. After this procedure is repeated. Such a double cooking and washing removes most of the toxins and makes the lines suitable for any mushroom dishes.
- The second most effective method of "neutralization" of the lines is their long-term drying in the open air. The evaporating liquid takes with it most of the toxic substances. To make the mushrooms completely safe, they should be dried for at least six months.
- The first two methods do not allow you to completely remove the hyromitrins from the mushrooms, so there is always the danger of poisoning. The only reliable way to make the lines edible is their aggressive drying. It is made in the oven at a temperature not lower than +55 ° C for a long time.
Read More When to Collect Browns
The toxic nature of fungi does not completely disappear even after proper processing, therefore unpleasant consequences are always possible after they have been consumed.
- Even if there is no obvious poisoning, it is unlikely that your body will be carcinogens that always remain in the lines after boiling or drying.
- Individuals may have too low a threshold for sensitivity to hiromitrinam, and even small portions of toxins sometimes lead to dire consequences.
- In nature, sometimes there are strains of lines from which it is impossible to completely remove toxins even after prolonged digestion or drying.
- It is strictly not recommended to use the lines for children, pregnant and lactating women, as well as people who have problems with the heart and blood vessels.
Spring mushrooms: morels and stitches. Edible or poisonous ?!
That morels, that the lines of the mushrooms are certainly quite tasty, but in some situations their use can literally be fatal! And of course, we are primarily interested in the aspect of using these mushrooms in conditions of autonomous survival, how suitable are they?
Let's start, perhaps, with morels! Morels are conditionally edible and at the same time, the earliest spring mushrooms, beginning their growth only begin to melt snow.
For all its edibility, mushrooms contain a certain amount of toxic substances, and therefore requires MANDATORY heat treatment.
With raw mushrooms, you will surely RIGHT and perhaps very seriously! But if you cook the mushrooms properly, having carried out the heat treatment thoroughly (boil several times, (for reliability three times) with draining the water into which the poisonous acids pass, many sources also recommend soaking the mushrooms before the heat treatment in salt water. The mushrooms can also be dried, but in order for it to rid the fungus of harmful substances, 3 months should pass from the moment of drying and only then can they be consumed).
Morels can be found in mixed and coniferous forests, on fertile soil rich in humus and lime, very often found on the ground of old fires, can also be found near forest roads, on forest edges, forest clearings.
Despite the almost simultaneous appearance of fruit bodies, similar living conditions, the fact that they are often confused, morels and lines are not close relatives. They belong to different families: morels - to the family morel, or Morshelle, lines - to lobed, or gelwellian.
The lines appear in the forest before. Perhaps that is why impatient mushroom pickers most often are the first to discover them. Pine forests - the main habitat lines. Particularly fond of these are light forest mushrooms, cuttings, forest fires and old fireplaces.
The most common line is ordinary. In appearance, it most closely resembles the walnut kernel, which is larger in size. Only the color of this shapeless, crumpled figure is from light brown in sunny places to dark brown in the shade.
The usual line of mushroom looks like a little to us. Not visible divisions on the cap and leg. There is a leg, but it is hidden by the folds of the shapeless body. And inside the mushroom is hollow!
The lines of ordinary attributed to us conditionally edible mushrooms. Sometimes you can read that lines poisonous. In Europe, particularly in Germany, the collection of these mushrooms is prohibited. Moreover, their sale. In the lines detected toxic substance hiromitrin, in action similar to the poison of the toadstool!
At the same time, here in Russia, the lines were always eaten without any serious consequences. In any case - the consequences documented. Often they simply do not distinguish with completely edible morel. And they collect, and sell, and cook together ... And sometimes they even call everyone together - morels!
This I do not mean "that Russian is good ...". It is possible that in our colder climate than in Germany, the poison accumulates in smaller quantities. Or the reason may be something else - in the strain of the fungus, even in some conditions. Only an ordinary line accumulates less hiromitrin in our country, it was eaten, eaten, and we did not hear about poisonings.
Yes, the lines should be boiled for at least 10 minutes, and the water should be drained. Only then they are fried or stewed. The thing is that no heat treatment destroys hiromitrin ... Only after prolonged drying for five to six months in the air without direct sunlight, the fungus becomes safe.
In any case, whether or not there are lines - it's up to you, dear reader! These mushrooms were eaten by both my parents and myself. Although, in fact, I am not a big fan of the lines. But, if their toxicity depends on climate, then in conditions of global warming, one can expect anything ...
Morels are truly valuable spring mushrooms! They appear somewhat later lines. This is the end of May - the beginning of June. Morels grow in coniferous and deciduous forests. Often they can be found not even in the forest, but in the thickets of shrubs, where their prettiest "houses" look out through last year's dry grass.
To distinguish more and lines more simply. After all, morels in appearance already resemble mushrooms "real." But only outwardly - inside their fruiting bodies are also hollow, as in the lines. And so everything is in place - and the hat and leg. The hat, however, is a peculiar form.
The most common cone in our morel. His "cap" is a cone. The surface of this cone is all in the folds, most resembling a honeycomb. The mushroom is painted in different shades of brown, the leg is lighter.
Another mushroom is a morel cap. As the name says, its “cap” is not like a cap (cone), but rather a kind of cap, often with raised edges, crowning a rather long leg. The habitat of this morel is deciduous forest.
In the mixed and deciduous forests of Central Russia, throughout the forest zone of Europe, there is a morel edible with a spherical cap. Very rarely in the steppe zone comes across a large morel steppe. The surface of the cap of all smilies is creased in folds, but the folds are more or less regular, like honeycombs.
In Germany, in France, experiments were conducted on the introduction of more than a conical into culture. As far as I know, some positive experimental results have been achieved. However, the morel conic has not yet become a recognized mushroom culture, like champignon or oyster mushroom.
Morels can be used fresh. Neither hiromitrina or other poisons were found. But it is better to immerse the mushrooms in boiling water for a few minutes, drain it, and then fry the mushrooms, put them out or bake them in the oven with sour cream.
Morels can be dried. They are dried in the same way as the lines - scattering for a long time somewhere under a canopy, a roof. If it is dried in a dryer, an oven - then at a temperature not higher than 40 degrees. Drying time, respectively, also increases.
These “mushrooms - snowdrops” - morels and lines - will soon appear in our forests, delighting the mushroom pickers with the first crop.
Sincerely, Alexander Silivanov