Morel Mushrooms Popping Up In MD: When To Find Springtime Delicacy

Morel Mushrooms Popping Up In MD, these tasty springtime finds have been spotted in Maryland this April, as hunters seek them out for selling and cooking.

The Great Morel map shows a number of recorded sightings this year in Maryland. These meaty and flavor-packed fungi grow in secluded areas, and seasoned foragers will know some good spots to find them. (Shutterstock)

MARYLAND — If you consider morel mushrooms one of the greatest delicacies of spring, prepare to salivate and get out the frying pan. The elusive morels are in Maryland woods right now.
Keep in mind, there’s only a small window of opportunity to find morel mushrooms as we move toward warmer temperatures. A good place to start the hunt is with The Great Morel’s interactive morel sightings map, which collects morel mushroom sightings by state, city and ZIP code, as well as the date found.

In Maryland, morel hunters started spotting the treasures around April 7 when temperatures soared. “Fresh Black – Was very warm yesterday to get things going! This little guy was hours old and means we have 3 weeks starting now at this park,” said an Elkton hunter.
“Found 5-6 nice size morels growing around some hydrangeas. Not an area I would have expected to find them,” an Annapolis fan posted April 11.

Folks in Maryland and Virginia are most apt to find morels in April through May, according to Outdoor Life.
If you’ve never experienced these earthy, woodsy and nutty tastes of spring, don’t turn down an invitation to partake in their deliciousness. Just don’t ask too many questions about where the mushrooms were found. Morel aficionados are notoriously secretive about the best spots to poke around in the woods, lest anyone else discover the source of the mother lode.

Folklore is spun around the morels — really, just decaying fungi that pop out of the ground under just the right fusion of atmospheric conditions and pollen counts — because they’re so elusive, and because those who hunt them are so protective of the location of prime spots.
Even seasoned foragers are often disappointed. One year might produce a bumper crop of morels and, the next year, the same spot can be fallow. The morel whisperers at The Great Morel may not be able to pinpoint exactly where to find the woodsy, earthy spring delights, but they do offer mushroom hunters a crowd-sourced map to help determine when the spores are likely to start popping.

States in the South and Southeast saw morels popping in February and March. So far in April, morels have been found in 143 places, including a surprise find in Robert Lee, Texas.

Right now, most morels are being found widely across the eastern two-thirds of the country and along the West Coast.

Weather patterns have everything to do with the timing of morel mushroom season. Prime mushroom hunting time is usually over by Mother’s Day, which is on Sunday, May 14, this year.
Hunting mushrooms isn’t just a folksy tradition. It’s an opportunity to make some quick cash. Morels are so prized, they can sell for commercially for around $30 a pound. In some cases, they can fetch hundreds of dollars a pound. Fresh morels found in the Pacific Northwest were going for more than $400 a pound from one company on Tuesday.

The Food Network gets positively weepy over morel mushrooms. Alex Guarnaschelli of “Iron Chef” called them the “sacred mushroom,” wrote food author Simon Majumdar, who said mention of morel mushrooms “will bring a look of appreciation to every chef” he encounters.

“The morel, or morchella, is actually more related to the truffle than it is to other mushrooms and, like truffles, is the fruit of a fungus that sprouts in the moist soil of woods and forests,” Majumdar wrote. “There are debates about the number of different types of morel, but the most common ones are black morels and yellow morels. They both have a stem and a conical body that is covered with pits and ridges like a honeycomb, which makes them instantly recognizable to anyone who spends time hunting for them.”

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