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Morels in S. Ontario

y
yaddayadda May 5, 2007 06:51 AM

Anybody spot morels in S. Ontario yet? That last two years have been a total bust for decent mushrooms. Too dry, I suppose, or too many people trampling over the few remaining abodes.

I would appreciate getting the heads-up. You don't have to reveal a specific location (although that would be appreciated); just need the green light to start trekking out there. Thanks.

  1. h
    HenryLevy May 20, 2011 02:58 AM

    Morels are out in the Orangeville area now.

     
    2 Replies
    1. re: HenryLevy
      m
      MarleyMorel May 11, 2012 02:34 PM

      Yes they are up. I just found these near Tottenham.

       
      1. re: MarleyMorel
        d
        dano bannano May 12, 2012 06:51 PM

        Found about a dozen today near Erin.

    2. JamieK May 17, 2011 04:16 PM

      Found a couple of yellows on my cottage property in North Simcoe this week. They weren't too big but we cooked em up anyway because I had accidently cut them off with my leaf raking. Hmm, I guess then technically I didn't really "find" them. Anyway, hoping for bigger ones this weekend cuz I'll be looking!

      1 Reply
      1. re: JamieK
        TorontoTuna May 17, 2011 08:18 PM

        Just crossed the border last night after the Jays game in Detroit with our morels. We were in the post-game traffic with our Jays caps and my partner in crime with one of those big, blue, foam Jays hands. Geezer baseball fans. The custom guy never gave us a second look. A weeks picken' near Attica Indiana yielded about 42 pounds of yellows. Best year ever. We took our own dehydrator and dried most of them. Fried up plenty. Before drying we slice lengthways and clean for bugs. Lotsa snails this year cause of the wet spring. Indiana and Michigan rule for morels.

      2. d
        dr_flie May 9, 2011 01:57 PM

        We were out on Saturday and Sunday hiking throughout the Simcoe region and found quite a few black morels. (about 30 in total). Enough for a few meals. It's a bit of a slow start, but we should start to see some half-free and yellows showing up next week.

        1. PoppiYYZ May 8, 2011 08:05 AM

          The Morels showed up north of Peterborough yesterday !

          The sun and a little warmth brought them out under some old apple trees. In 2009 we had more than we could eat so we successfully air dried them. So far this year has only been a small taste, but hopefully more are still to come...

          1 Reply
          1. re: PoppiYYZ
            n
            Nyleve May 9, 2011 01:28 PM

            Small bag of morels today - maybe 4 oz. worth - but it's a start! I'm still trying to train my dog to sniff them out for me but he's much more interested in discarded sandwiches and dog poop. Anyway I'll save the morels for dinner tomorrow which I think will be pasta with morels and wild leeks.

          2. l
            lin60 May 5, 2011 06:08 PM

            Spotted 6 true morels in the lawn today beneath a dead elm tree. All rather small. What I wish to know is: will they become larger if left in situ for a while, or is the size determined prior to emergence?
            THXS!
            Linda
            Campbellford, Southern Ontario

            6 Replies
            1. re: lin60
              e
              earthygoat May 5, 2011 06:13 PM

              This is perfect, I'm in Campbellford also and haven't found any morels yet. Chances are the morels you found under the elm are yellow morels, but still very immature. Meaning they will still grow quite a bit, often to 5 inches or so. If they are black morels, then they may be a bit smaller. The size will also depend on moisture and temperature, but they will grow. Keep checking on them to make sure they are still nice and firm, and once a bit bigger, pick and enjoy. Now I'm looking forward to this weekend and checking my regular hot spots (again).

              1. re: lin60
                jayt90 May 5, 2011 06:23 PM

                Insects will attack each day you leave them unpicked, so Saturday might be a good day to get them.

                1. re: jayt90
                  s
                  Snarf May 5, 2011 07:44 PM

                  Be careful from who you buy, if that's your route. A visually close imposter with a waxy, more yellow exterior is narsty (to use a technical term). I sorted some out last year because I thought they looked wrong, then read up and found they are on the 'not to eat list'.

                  Interestingly, many of the mushroom texts seem to ascribe the term poisonous to varieties that are not poisonous, but are hallucinogenic.

                  1. re: Snarf
                    TorontoTuna May 5, 2011 08:39 PM

                    The only mushroom resembling the tasty morel is the false morel, a stunted black bit of business that is long gone by May and will sicken you. The fat yellow morels at my farm come up every rear beneith the trees in a long ago apple orchard. The smaller and less tasty black morels are in the ceder woods. I'm headed for Indiana this weekend, where I've gone for over thirty years to collect the giant yellow guys. Always come back with at least a bushel basket. My friends in Lafayette say the wet spring, followed by hot weather at present should be ideal for pickin'. I'll post a photo upon my return.

                    1. re: TorontoTuna
                      a
                      andy andersen May 7, 2011 04:10 AM

                      no problems bringing them back across the border?

                      1. re: andy andersen
                        TorontoTuna May 7, 2011 05:23 AM

                        The question always asked is "Did you purchase anything while in the States...not did you pick anything."

              2. sgogo Apr 29, 2011 01:26 PM

                Seeing as we've had a relatively cold and wet April, does this bode well for morel season this year? I'm determined to succeed, I tell you!

                2 Replies
                1. re: sgogo
                  jayt90 Apr 29, 2011 01:32 PM

                  Yes/maybe; it is 50/50 this year. Cold and wet followed by a warm spell should bring them up, but it is getting late. There is no warm spell in view yet, so the overall crop may be small. When the conditions are not right, the morel roots just continue to grow underground for an other year.

                  1. re: jayt90
                    n
                    Nyleve Apr 30, 2011 11:29 AM

                    I checked yesterday but nothing. I knew it was too cold. If we get a few days of warm weather they might pop. The wild leeks are definitely up - and delicious.

                2. a
                  andy andersen May 16, 2010 09:35 AM

                  all quiet in 2010, unless I'm missing something. I've been searching for two weeks and today found my first morels of the season, just a pair of them though. How's everyone else doing?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: andy andersen
                    n
                    Nyleve May 16, 2010 09:39 AM

                    I believe they're done. I found just a very few, extremely early - 3 or 4 weeks ago. Just literally this minute came in from checking my spot and there's nothing. I don't think they're going to come back this year.

                    1. re: andy andersen
                      e
                      earthygoat May 16, 2010 01:06 PM

                      This year's black morel season has been awful, due to the dry conditions and high temperatures in April. However, the yellow morel season (right now) is fantastic. I have found more this year than in quite a while. Most have been growing in large groups along trails. After feasting on some fresh ones, I now have enough to dry for the coming year. Get out there and look for them because they won't last long now, maybe another week here in Central Ontario.

                      1. re: earthygoat
                        a
                        andy andersen May 18, 2010 08:13 AM

                        still very little luck for me. Two more yesterday, a nice pair of big and fresh yellows, but few and far between. I'm near Hamilton so maybe we're worse off than you. But also I don't have any reliable 'spots' yet, just searching in any forest I can access. It's weird though, where last year once I found one I'd often get a bag full nearby, now I'm just finding one here, then maybe another a kilometre away.

                        1. re: earthygoat
                          pinstripeprincess May 18, 2010 02:52 PM

                          you're lucky. it seems it's feast or famine in the yellow morel world right now. some reports of people finding 30 or so at one hunt and nothing to as few as 5 at another. i unfortunately have to count myself in the latter.

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess
                            n
                            Nyleve May 18, 2010 04:53 PM

                            Or...as few as zero...

                      2. a
                        ant1 May 10, 2009 11:40 AM

                        I have found what look like Morels in my downtown Toronto backyard.I am curious if someone can confirm from my pictures that they are the edible variety.

                         
                         
                        14 Replies
                        1. re: ant1
                          Splendid Wine Snob May 10, 2009 03:16 PM

                          ant1-Those certainly look like black morels (Morchella elata), so they would be edible.

                          You are very, very lucky!

                          SWS

                          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                            a
                            ant1 May 11, 2009 06:11 AM

                            Thanks Splendid!

                            Yes after further research on line I pegged them as edible and will be cooking them up tonight.

                            1. re: ant1
                              l
                              lin60 May 17, 2009 12:32 AM

                              ant1-
                              Just did my own research: I too struck it lucky! Last spring a very large tree died on our rural pty outside Campbellford (not yet felled). Recently we have 'mushrooms' popping up in the surrounding lawn: black morels/Morchella elata, judging from your photos (& others).
                              Would like to know: at what point does one harvest? And how to store them? (In a paper bag) but at RT? And how long can one store them prior to cooking?

                              1. re: lin60
                                jayt90 May 17, 2009 04:05 PM

                                I would keep them no more than two or three days. If you suspect insects at the root, kosher them, but rinse off all the salt.
                                I like a simple preparation, in butter, or as a filling in a French omelet.

                                1. re: jayt90
                                  l
                                  lin60 May 17, 2009 07:26 PM

                                  jayt90 & ant1...THXS!
                                  I halved, then soaked them in salt water. Harvested today - feast tomorrow! When I first noticed them a short while ago, they were black (indents) & dirty-white (ridges). Now they are all a honey beige overall but still firm. Cap on the largest is 2-1/2". What with the tree having died only last spring, I'm hoping to harvest next year again?
                                  Love all the recipes on CHOW! Especially as we also have ramps, Egyptian onions, 'wild' asparagus along the fencelines awa an established, HUGE asparagus bed. I'm one of those tender-hearted tho': cannot bear to harvest (& chomp on) fiddleheads. Same applies to 'edible' flowers.

                                  1. re: lin60
                                    jayt90 May 17, 2009 07:49 PM

                                    Fiddleheads are very widespread and not in danger...unless we are too reckless!
                                    The morels will continue to grow beneath the soil under your tree, but may not come up every year. The morel mycelia is apparently very widespread, but won't fruit every year in every spot.

                            2. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                              d
                              dr_flie May 20, 2009 10:57 AM

                              These definitely are not black morels. They are in fact white morels (or early yellows depending on the book). The pits in Blacks are much different as is their stalk. They're still edible though. Very tasty!

                              1. re: dr_flie
                                Splendid Wine Snob May 21, 2009 08:15 AM

                                Hmmm, well I think its somewhat hard to determine their exact phylogeny based on the small photos, but indeed they are edible whether they are Morchella elata, Morchella angusticeps or like you mentioned possibly even Morchella esculenta., but I am certainly no mushroom expert!

                                SWS

                            3. re: ant1
                              r
                              rld May 13, 2009 07:55 AM

                              I'm curious (and very jealous) about your backyard. What types of trees are growing back there? I have a lot of mushrooms in my yard, but never morels.

                              I hope you enjoyed your black morels and keep your fingers crossed for next spring.

                              1. re: rld
                                a
                                ant1 May 17, 2009 03:47 PM

                                Lin60 I harvested them when I found them, no idea how long they could of held out before loosing to the critters or being trampled under foot (I have a 5 yr old).I cooked them the next day, I stored them in a paper bag in the fridge.

                                rld I have a pear tree in the back yard.

                                1. re: ant1
                                  p
                                  parabolic May 19, 2009 07:46 PM

                                  hey folks im in the barrie area..ive been looking for the past few days with my daughter and found 2 black morels...i have the next 4 days off work and im ready to cover some serious ground...does anybody in the area know of any good spots or can point me in the right direction...looking for any help
                                  thanks and good luck

                                  1. re: parabolic
                                    jayt90 May 19, 2009 08:09 PM

                                    Look for an aging tree, oak, elm, maple, fruitwood. Look for land that was burned out in previous years. Look in areas you would not expect to find anything. I found my first on a roadside, near some maple trees. They haven't returned to that area.
                                    The mycelia is very widespread, almost everywhere, but it will only fruit in late spring, after lots of rain, and in areas with ash or lots of rotting wood.

                                    1. re: parabolic
                                      d
                                      dr_flie May 20, 2009 11:05 AM

                                      My wife and I have been picking the past couple of weeks north of you and have found lots of morels. The blacks are on their way out so you won't be able to find many of them. Half-free's are plentiful right now (make sure you don't confuse them with the Wrinkled Caps which have a cottony substance in the stalk) and the whites/yellows are growing now as well. As for where to look, there isn't really a trick. Jayt90 is correct with the trees, but even if you're in a forest full of them, you could still walk for miles without finding them. Persistence is key. Once you do find your spot though, you should be able to collect a lot. (i.e. when you find one, you can usually find more) I'm attaching a pic of some of our Saturday haul.

                                       
                                      1. re: dr_flie
                                        c
                                        countryfolk May 20, 2009 04:14 PM

                                        My wife and I just took over a farm property near Wiarton, and harvested our first Morels on the 16th
                                        They were growing on a grass path and in the middle of a shade lawn.
                                        Can't wait to look for more. Bound to have leeks and wild ginger in the woods, and a good crop of watercress

                              2. m
                                max08 May 4, 2009 06:16 AM

                                I used to pick morels in Leith Ontario, just down the shore-line from downtown Owen Sound Ont. There was a golf course there at the time but is gone now, I beleive. If the wooded area is still there and hasn't been developed, I'm sure morels can still be found in abundance!!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: max08
                                  p
                                  parabolic May 19, 2009 07:54 PM

                                  how long ago did you used to pick there.....and there were large numbers of them..i want to head there this weekend..im doing a trip with my daughter..

                                2. d
                                  dano bannano May 28, 2008 04:42 AM

                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/51904...

                                  1. n
                                    Northern Light May 15, 2008 06:01 AM

                                    Morels can now be found at Whole Foods (Yorkville) for the season.

                                    Have to say though, don't think they were stored well, they looked kinda mushy (they put them on on styrofoam-type trays then convered them in plastic.

                                    How long should fresh morels last when properly stored?

                                    1. l
                                      Lefty May 7, 2008 01:31 PM

                                      as a matter of fact, I just came in from marking a few in the back yard which has produced a few the last couple of years ... we are about an hour east of toronto

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Lefty
                                        n
                                        Nyleve May 7, 2008 05:40 PM

                                        Really? I'm about an hour east-ish of Toronto too. I thought it felt a bit cold out still...I should check my secret spot! Very exciting.

                                        1. re: Nyleve
                                          DockPotato May 8, 2008 02:57 PM

                                          I'm up in Bruce and pulled a few from my spot a week and a half ago. The bulbs were smallish but the leaves were fine and the taste was great. You're south so I'm thinking yous are well on. Enjoy.

                                          1. re: DockPotato
                                            JamieK May 8, 2008 05:46 PM

                                            Hmm, I think you're referring to your ramps here rather than morels.

                                            1. re: JamieK
                                              DockPotato May 9, 2008 03:12 AM

                                              Gulp!

                                      2. JamieK May 7, 2008 05:42 AM

                                        Anyone spotted any yet this year?

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: JamieK
                                          d
                                          dano bannano May 14, 2008 09:27 AM

                                          I live about 30 mins outside of toronto and have been out looking everyday for the last week and haven't spotted any yet.
                                          this is my first year looking for them so I don't have any secret spots yet, so I am unsure if I am looking in the wrong spots or if I'm just a bit to early

                                          my grandfather used hunt them all the time but i was to young to be interested and unfortunately he took his secret spots to the grave....

                                          1. re: JamieK
                                            t
                                            the_nthian May 18, 2008 12:06 PM

                                            About an hour west of Toronto...4 to 5 pounds of luscious yellows, large and firm.

                                            1. re: the_nthian
                                              jayt90 May 18, 2008 05:52 PM

                                              What type of terrain or environment? There was lots of rain today, so many of us will be looking tomorrow.

                                              1. re: the_nthian
                                                m
                                                maxandrick May 25, 2008 02:56 PM

                                                We live in Toronto and today we pick probably 4 lbs. of morels on our dog walk. It was a wooded area, got some there last year, but, not near the yield as this year. Just going to dry my over flow for later use. Having Chicken in a Morel cream sauce for dinner.

                                              2. re: JamieK
                                                b
                                                bdzyngel May 27, 2008 06:23 PM

                                                I've picked about 15 so far this year at our cottage on Christian Island (south of Midland). Both yellows and blacks. None so far yet in my usual spot "near" Uxbride.

                                                They are a little late this year - still a lot half-frees and false morels in woods...hoping to tuck into more in the next few weeks as my kids are getting bored of eating wild leeks...

                                                1. re: bdzyngel
                                                  JamieK May 27, 2008 07:33 PM

                                                  just for the record, Christian Island is north of Midland.

                                                  Our cottage is on the mainland south of Christian Island and haven't found a thing yet but still looking.

                                                  1. re: JamieK
                                                    b
                                                    bdzyngel May 28, 2008 08:40 AM

                                                    Ha - yes, you're right, but because we are on the boat so much and need to go northeast around awenda to get to Midland, I think of it as being North!

                                                    This is definitely a weird year for them - the usual spots on the island are only producing sporadically...

                                                    Happy hunting...

                                              3. n
                                                Nyleve May 28, 2007 02:52 PM

                                                I am sorry to report that today's hunt yielded zilch. A couple of rotten semi-recognizable bits of old morels but nothing, nada, zero for picking. I suspect that the season is over. It's been too warm, then too dry, and now it looks like it will be too warm again. Plus the oak leaves are bigger than a mouse's ear - so it's over folks.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Nyleve
                                                  Finnegan May 30, 2007 08:04 AM

                                                  My neighbour, claims he routinely finds morels in High Park (Downtown Toronto) and Rouge Park (Scarborough). Says best places to look are in shady areas near old oak trees.

                                                2. JonasBrand May 28, 2007 08:44 AM

                                                  Just checking in to say thanks! This board inspired me to go for a hike (near Barrie) and I found a gold mine of Morels! I cooked them up yesterday and will again tonight! Delicious... Thanks!

                                                  I also found some "chicken of the woods", but didnt take it cause I didnt know what it was until I got home! (It was neat just to find it!)

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: JonasBrand
                                                    p
                                                    parabolic May 19, 2009 07:50 PM

                                                    hey jonas i live in barrie and ive been taking my daughter out to try and find some morels , weve only found 2 ..can you please point in the direction you found those morels near barrie...you would make our weekend...please get back to me.. take care

                                                  2. y
                                                    yaddayadda May 26, 2007 02:59 PM

                                                    Thanks to all. We just found a small batch ourselves, and within the city. Made an excellent risotto. Will go back for more real soon now. Next foray will be NW of T.O.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: yaddayadda
                                                      dinin and dishin May 27, 2007 02:00 PM

                                                      Today's rainfall should lead to a fresh crop once the sun comes out. At least that's what I'm counting on in order to get my annual fix.

                                                      1. re: dinin and dishin
                                                        n
                                                        Nyleve May 27, 2007 05:21 PM

                                                        I'm out there tomorrow for sure. But it's probably going to be the last gasp, if they do come up. It's getting pretty warm.

                                                    2. k
                                                      KarenA May 19, 2007 05:10 PM

                                                      I live in Oro Medonte just north of Barrie and spotted a morel today whilst out riding my horse. After putting the young fella in his stall with some treats I hustled back with my little bag and found a total of 12 morels. When I was a kid my Dad and I used to find morels in the woods north of Owen Sound. I haven't picked or had any since then although I often think of them and always remember how divine they tasted after my Dad sliced and sauteed them in butter. We used to find puffballs too. I'm pretty sure the ones I picked today are morels and are safe to eat, but I must admit I'm not 100% sure, but on the other hand I'd hate to waste them.

                                                       
                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: KarenA
                                                        jayt90 May 19, 2007 06:22 PM

                                                        They are shaped like a thumb sticking up, with a sponge-like surface. False morels are more like an inverted sponge, and more of a mushroom head.

                                                        1. re: KarenA
                                                          dinin and dishin May 19, 2007 07:06 PM

                                                          Nyleve posted a photo of here cache a couple of posts up. Yours may be darker, but the if the shape and look are the same, you are okay. JayT is right, false morels look completely different.

                                                          1. re: dinin and dishin
                                                            k
                                                            KarenA May 20, 2007 01:05 PM

                                                            We lightly sauteed the morels in butter until just brown and a little crispy and they were delish, just like I remember from years ago, i'm hooked now....

                                                          2. re: KarenA
                                                            d
                                                            dory May 15, 2008 01:36 PM

                                                            I haven't had puffballs for years. Mind you when I was a kid I was never interested in eating them because it was so much more fun to wait until they turned black and you could make the "smoke" come out!

                                                          3. k
                                                            kateinkigali May 19, 2007 02:11 PM

                                                            try Harvest Wagon on Younge directly south of the Summerhill liquor store

                                                            1. n
                                                              Nyleve May 17, 2007 05:29 PM

                                                              Gah! Gah! Gaaaah!!!! I have just come in from my most successful hunt EVER in HISTORY!!! 1-1/2 lbs. of beautiful gorgeous morels in probably about half an hour of hunting. They were in the general area where I've always found a few (by that, I mean, like, 6) but this time the slope was covered with the things! I'm hysterical! What should I do with them? (Right now I'm displaying them on my kitchen counter. Miracle!)

                                                              FYI - Peterborough Ontario area. Thursday - after the long soaking rain. I knew it. I just knew it.

                                                              12 Replies
                                                              1. re: Nyleve
                                                                dinin and dishin May 18, 2007 05:51 AM

                                                                First make sure they don't have any slugs or other creatures on them. We have a dish we make annually at this time of year...if successful. Essentially it is a cream & morel sauce over chicken. (we got it from an LCBO book years ago) I know the cream is decadent, but it's deserved after such a long wait and so much time on your knees.

                                                                If you are interested, I can post some more details here...it is pretty simple...and devine.

                                                                I am sooo jealous, we've only found two so far, but I'll go on the hunt later today.

                                                                1. re: dinin and dishin
                                                                  n
                                                                  Nyleve May 18, 2007 06:44 AM

                                                                  I was actually considering a morel cream sauce with chicken. But I'm also considering two additional possibilities: fresh fettuccine with morels OR sauteed morels (maybe with some cream) served with a good steak.

                                                                  Go hunting today. It looks like they're up!

                                                                  1. re: Nyleve
                                                                    n
                                                                    Nyleve May 18, 2007 10:16 AM

                                                                    Sorry. I just have to gloat. See photo.

                                                                     
                                                                    1. re: Nyleve
                                                                      m
                                                                      mickeyj May 18, 2007 01:02 PM

                                                                      Nice. There was a good-looking recipe for creamed morels on chive toast in the new york times a couple days ago.

                                                                      1. re: Nyleve
                                                                        dinin and dishin May 18, 2007 04:00 PM

                                                                        I am so jealous. We only found 4 today, and my husband picked them while small instead of letting them grow another day. I searched all our spots, but nothing. Last year we didn't have many either. It seems to change year by year.

                                                                        Notes from my recipe:
                                                                        Cleaning...try not to wash as they lose flavour and cut lengthwise to get any worms/bugs etc. hiding in there. If not using immediately store whole in a paper bag in the fridge.

                                                                        Salt and pepper chicken breasts and coat with flour by shaking in a bag.
                                                                        Sauce...heat 1 Tbs butter and 1 Tbs olive oil in a skillet. Add chicken and saute until golden and tender, then remove and keep warm.
                                                                        Add 2 tbs each shallots and onions to same skillet and saute until soft.
                                                                        Add 1/4 cup wine or vermouth
                                                                        Add morels and stir for 3 minutes. (this is based on reconstitued dried morels, so adjust as required for fresh)
                                                                        Add 1 cup 35% cream and reduce by half before adding chicken back in to warm before serving.
                                                                        Sprinkle with parsley and devour while you continue to gloat.

                                                                        Of course the fettucine and or the steak sound great also. I think the cream is a really nice partnering with the woodsy flavour and texture of morels.

                                                                        1. re: dinin and dishin
                                                                          n
                                                                          Nyleve May 18, 2007 05:52 PM

                                                                          So. Tonight's dinner was: seared ribeyes with morels, fiddleheads sauteed with ramps and a very nice green salad. My husband asked me how much this meal would cost at a restaurant. I told him he couldn't find it anywhere at any price.

                                                                          I salted and peppered the ribeyes and seared them on both sides in a tiny bit of olive oil. Put them in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Meanwhile, cooked the morels (quartered lengthwise and very well washed - I'm sorry, God, but I think I may have injured a slug in the process but most of them were released unharmed onto my lawn - and then drained well on paper towel) in plenty of butter. Added some brandy - didn't have cognac - and let it evaporate. Added some whipping cream, salt and pepper. Served with the steaks.

                                                                          Seriously. Where can you get this kind of meal at any price? I feel so lucky.

                                                                          1. re: Nyleve
                                                                            dinin and dishin May 19, 2007 05:48 AM

                                                                            Okay, Nyleve, now you've just put me over the edge. You're meal just sounds fabulous. If I find more morels, I will suggest we try it your way (hubby loves any excuse to have a steak). I hope your husband realizes how lucky he is.

                                                                            I've been searching the property for ramps, but haven't been lucky. We have tons of ferns, but I don't know which are the edible ones (any help is appreciated). And of course I only have my 4 little morels. I was thinking about extending my search area today. Now I have to choose between planting my garden (think fresh tomatoes and potatoes in August) or go hunting for goodies.

                                                                            1. re: dinin and dishin
                                                                              jayt90 May 19, 2007 07:14 AM

                                                                              It is too late for ferns in the GTA, they are all up, fan shaped, 12" high. Further north they can be gathered until June, if they are still at the small curly stage, at ground level. As for variety, I have not had a problem in Ontario. If in doubt, I'll taste a sample and reject if too bitter. (I'm sure someone will tell me I'm in grave danger, but I'm still here!) Look for wild leeks (I don't like the American term, ramp) in shaded damp or boggy areas.

                                                                              This the ideal weekend to look for morels, as the rains have induced fruiting and they need a few days to attain size, but not too long, as the insects will find them.

                                                                              Good hunting!

                                                                              1. re: dinin and dishin
                                                                                DockPotato May 19, 2007 10:17 AM

                                                                                The Leeks are found in boggy hardwood stands, not in the wet patches themselves, but on the on drier hillocks there. They establish themselves in the matt floor of the woods.Use a dandelion tool or a heavy duty gonly few inches deep.

                                                                                Look for trilliums. If you find good patches of trilliums, chances are better than 75 percent that you've also found leeks. I take only a few every few square yards and none that are enmeshed with the trilliums for obvious reasons.

                                                                                Here is a caution - don't be seen from the road with your trowel and bag of goodies, else the patch will be cleaned out for sure. Now that I've found them, my plan is to enjoy a few now and then and to keep the stock healthy.

                                                                                As to morels, I'm still looking.

                                                                                1. re: dinin and dishin
                                                                                  n
                                                                                  Nyleve May 19, 2007 12:18 PM

                                                                                  I've been trying to get a patch of ramps started in my little woods. It looks like just the kind of habitat for them. I planted some last year and they've come up this year. I planted more a week ago. With luck, in a couple of years I'll be able to harvest!

                                                                                  Morels - seriously - I've never found this many before. And I've hunted, believe me. Have no clue why they've suddenly gone bonkers. This is the same spot I always look and I usually find 3 or 4 total. Not complaining.

                                                                        2. re: dinin and dishin
                                                                          Passadumkeg May 19, 2007 06:19 AM

                                                                          I lived in Helsinki for five years and false morels were piled high in the market places. The first time I bought them, I asked my next door neighbor(who went to the Univ. of Toronto) how he prepared them and he asked me if I knew that they were poisonous. I was floored. He was a biochemist and on the board of the Finnish Gastronomic Society(What Fun!) and he told me about drying and boiling to remove the toxins. Thanks for the tips about carcinogenic properties. Heading out to look for morels right now, will leave the false ones alone. A nice life philosophy!

                                                                        3. re: Nyleve
                                                                          h
                                                                          hungry_pangolin May 19, 2007 01:34 PM

                                                                          Congratulations (and, damn you)! Years ago at L'Auberge Gavroche (RIP), I had a potage des escargots with morels. You might want to try that. I don't have a recipe, unfortunately, but it shouldn't be difficult to wing it.

                                                                        4. h
                                                                          hungry_pangolin May 15, 2007 11:31 AM

                                                                          I agree with the above myco-fans that the weather has been right yet (but I'm not an expert). You might want to try the organic farmers' market that wanders through the city different days of the week (Riverdale Park West, Nathan Phillips, High Park, and I think the Dufferin Mall, all different days) . There was a farmer the last couple years who had some great stuff (young puff ball!).

                                                                          1. Davwud May 15, 2007 10:09 AM

                                                                            So with this rain we got today and the warmer temps. Is this week/weekend looking like a good time to go??
                                                                            It would be perfect, just when I'm heading out of town :-(

                                                                            DT

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Davwud
                                                                              n
                                                                              Nyleve May 15, 2007 11:10 AM

                                                                              Yes. I'm going out later today or tomorrow for sure. This weather is perfect.

                                                                            2. t
                                                                              TwinklyTerrapin May 15, 2007 10:02 AM

                                                                              For those who are interested but inexperienced in mushroom hunting I'd recommend the Mycological Society of Toronto http://www.myctor.org/index.html. They lead several forays in the spring and fall, and it's a great way to get out and enjoy the wilds, and pick some mushrooms with experts on hand to help you identify them.
                                                                              I haven't been out on a society foray for years, but my dad used to belong and the forays were a lovely way to spend a day.

                                                                              1. j
                                                                                Jar May 8, 2007 09:05 AM

                                                                                After some warm rains, and having a sunny day, morels can often be felt in a field or ground area that had a burn the previous year! Beware of the very similarly shaped poisonous False Morel which does not have a regular shape, but will look as with a bump, one side larger than other,etc. If you find lots, dry them and grind them for use as a steak seasoning!

                                                                                1. n
                                                                                  Nyleve May 8, 2007 07:04 AM

                                                                                  Here's a great website for mushroom hunting of all kinds. I refer to it when out hunting - they even have a really good message board where you can ask specific questions and check with people who happen to be in your area.

                                                                                  http://www.mushroomexpert.com/

                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                    rld May 7, 2007 11:14 AM

                                                                                    I haven't spotted any in the forested areas of Richmond Hill, although I have found many false morels (Gyromitra esculenta). These are, depending who you ask, poisonous or edible with proper processing. I don't eat them, but it raises a question:

                                                                                    Does anyone know if true morels are likely to be found in the same areas as false morels? That is, in people's past experience foraging in Southern Ontario, have you encountered true and false morels sharing the same habitat.

                                                                                    Happy hunting all, and let's hope for some rain.

                                                                                    1. Davwud May 7, 2007 07:46 AM

                                                                                      So when they're ready to go, will someone post for us newbies who'd love to go hunting??
                                                                                      Also, what do I look for in a place to hunt and then where to hunt once I've found the place.

                                                                                      DT

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                                                        dinin and dishin May 7, 2007 01:12 PM

                                                                                        Mushroom books say one thing, but my experience never jives with this. I've found morels right in the middle of grassy sections of our lawn, along dense tree lined boarders between a neighboring field and our property, under a big pine tree and right next to the driveway in a pile of dead leaves. The trick seems to be to get down on ground level and survey the area at eye level. Once you find one, you'll usually see quite a few more easily. Some spots are reliable year after year and some never see another shroom again. My uncle used to have a spot somewhere near Bolton where he found hundreds every year, but he took that knowledge to his grave unfortunately.

                                                                                        We have an annual meal we call our "holy doodle" morel dinner. It is a recipe from the LCBO several years ago which is basically a cream-based morel sauce over chicken. It is decadent, but wonderful. The weird name comes the expression I let out one year when we found monster (I mean huge and falic looking) morels along one edge of the driveway (they never appeared there again). We rarely find more than enough for one meal. And to answer another post, we've never found false morels nearby, but I did find saddleback mushrooms nearby last year.

                                                                                        If/when I find some, I'll be sure to post a notice. Good luck.

                                                                                        1. re: dinin and dishin
                                                                                          y
                                                                                          yaddayadda May 14, 2007 09:29 AM

                                                                                          I've had success near coniferous trees, but mostly in dappled-shade areas beside well-trod paths. And it definitely needs to be warm and after a decent amount of rain has fallen.

                                                                                          Every notice how you can't usually make them out, perhaps having passed right by one? But once you've spotted one, then you are able to spot very many thereafter. I guess your eye adjusts to the shape or colour or something. An interesting phenomenon.

                                                                                      2. dinin and dishin May 7, 2007 05:51 AM

                                                                                        We are northeast of the city. I checked our usual spots yesterday, but I think it is still too cold and dry. As Nyleve said, a couple of weeks and some warm rain will do wonders. This week won't help as there is no rain until at least Thursday.

                                                                                        1. Matt416 May 6, 2007 09:59 AM

                                                                                          Harvest Wagon at Yonge and Summerhill has them. Picked some up today! Pretty pricey at 69.00/lbs. though.

                                                                                          Matt

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Matt416
                                                                                            jayt90 May 6, 2007 03:51 PM

                                                                                            http://www.dominion-seed-house.com sells spores for seeding in the spring, at $40.

                                                                                            1. re: jayt90
                                                                                              y
                                                                                              youdonut May 10, 2009 02:18 PM

                                                                                              they only carry oyter mushroom spoors. all else is no longer carried

                                                                                          2. e
                                                                                            ElizabethS May 5, 2007 11:49 AM

                                                                                            Well.....if commercial is an option - saw them today at the North side of St Lawrence market - $52/pound which is less than last year as I recall.

                                                                                            There's a mushroom vendor on the second row from the east side of the North Market, near the north end of the building

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ElizabethS
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                                                                                              faijay May 12, 2007 04:09 PM

                                                                                              $42 per pound today. Also, got some ramps and wild garlic, but no $42 morels. I am still trying to pry information out of a friend who was shown a great patch of morels by someone who has since died and made her promise to never tell.

                                                                                              1. re: faijay
                                                                                                Davwud May 12, 2007 07:07 PM

                                                                                                Tell her that if she just invites you along to help with the gathering, then she will have never told you where it is.

                                                                                                DT

                                                                                              2. re: ElizabethS
                                                                                                JonasBrand May 15, 2007 11:00 AM

                                                                                                I have never seen a mushroom vendor at St. Lawerence (North) Farmers Market. (But I would love to!) Does the mushroom vendor leave early?

                                                                                              3. n
                                                                                                Nyleve May 5, 2007 10:24 AM

                                                                                                I'm guessing in the next two weeks. We need a good warm soaking rain. Then run out there and hunt!

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