Why Are Morel Mushrooms So Expensive? Morel Mushrooms Taste

Morel mushrooms grow in early spring in coniferous and mixed forests on fertile humus soil rich in lime. They are appreciated for their creamy, buttery flavor and strong earthy smell and are used for making soups, salads, pizzas, and pies, and are a great side dish for meat and fish. Morel mushrooms contain vitamins B1, B2, C, D, PP, A, as well as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and ash.

We have prepared an ultimate guide on how much morels are worth, where to find morels and what morel mushrooms taste is like.

Morel Mushroom Price – How Much Do morel mushrooms cost?

One pound of fresh morel mushrooms costs between $20-$50 ($40-$90 per kg), depending on the availability and the harvest. Dried morel mushrooms cost $160 per pound or $360 per kg. On more expensive markets, fresh morels cost up to $100 per pound, and dried morels – $450 per pound.

Morels are among the most expensive mushrooms in the world, both fresh and dried. A pound of fresh morels can cost over $100, (although you can find fresh morels in season at a lower price). However, since morels are lightweight, you will get a decent amount of mushrooms for your money. But what makes morel so expensive?

Why Are Morel Mushrooms So Expensive?

Morel mushrooms are so expensive due to their rarity and short seasonality. Morels are difficult to cultivate as they require heavy snow to grow in spring. Even though there are some methods of growing morels artificially, they are not very popular as the taste is different from real wild morels. 

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Morels can be harvested in April, but April mushrooms are more watery and less aromatic. May morels flavor is much richer and they acquire a characteristic earthy mushroom aroma with light fruity notes. Sometimes, morels can be found at the beginning of June, but it is not common.

Why is everyone obsessed with morels? Morels are so popular due to their unique rich, creamy umami taste, delicate texture, rich earthy aroma, and unique health properties (anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and immunity boost). Morels are also rare since they are hard to cultivate and grow only in spring. 

In ancient Rome, morel was considered a delicacy. In the USA and Europe, morel mushrooms are still considered a delicacy due to their unique nutty taste and high price. Morels are most often found in the Northern Hemisphere. The most valuable morels are the ones that grow in the wild. In Germany and France, morels have been cultivated artificially for about a century and a half, but they are not as popular as wild ones since the taste and texture are so different.

What is so special about morel mushrooms? Morel mushrooms are special thanks to their unique creamy, nutty umami flavor, strong earthy aroma, soft, velvet texture, and useful properties, including anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory bioactivities, immunostimulatory and anti-tumor properties. Morels are a great meat substitute.

See also: What Do Oyster Mushrooms Taste Like? All You Need to Know

Morels are also rich in vitamin D and are quite nutritious. Only one cap of morels contains almost half of the recommended daily value of iron and about a third of the daily intake of vitamin D. Like most mushrooms, morels are also low in calories — one mushroom contains about 20 calories.

While some people avoid mushrooms because of their slimy texture, morel mushrooms are tender and fleshy, with a nutty, earthy flavor, so even if you do not like mushrooms, the chances of becoming a fan of a morel mushroom flavor are pretty high.

Morel mushrooms contain vitamins B1, B2, C, D, PP, A, as well as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, ash, etc. Fresh morels contain 3% nitrogenous substances, 1% sugar, and a lot of aromatic substances. Spring morel mushrooms are not only a delicacy. In ancient times, they were used to treat rheumatism and other diseases of the joints. Ancient healers used morels to treat myopia, hyperopia, and even cataracts. More than 50 years ago, European scientists proved that morel-based medications actually strengthen weakened eye muscles.

Morel Mushroom Taste

What do morel mushrooms taste like? Morel mushrooms have a deep and rich nutty flavor with hints of butter and cream, a pungent earthy aroma, a delicate and meaty texture, unlike other varieties of mushrooms with a more slimy texture. Morels have a unique umami taste and are used in soups, salads, pizza, risotto, and pasta.

See also: Oyster Mushrooms Cooking 101: Best Ways to Prepare Oyster Mushrooms

Morels can be fried, stewed, or baked in the oven. Morels are also added to pies, and they go well with rice, pasta, eggs, fried onions, dough, meat (pork, beef, veal, chicken), and fish. Morels can be used to make mushroom sauces to add to salads, potatoes, risotto, pasta, and fish. Morels have a strong taste and aroma, which intensify when they dry. If you add dried morels to a soup or a sauce, they will acquire a new aroma and taste much creamier and more buttery

When preparing morel mushrooms, do not add too many spices as they can fade the delicate mushroom aroma.

Morels can also be added to salads (they taste best when marinated). Cut the mushrooms lengthwise, boil for 5 minutes in salted water with bay leaves, black pepper, and cloves. Remove the mushrooms from the broth and cover with marinade. For 100 grams of morels, take 5 ml of apple cider, 30-50 ml of aromatic sunflower oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Morel mushrooms go well with seasonal greens, spinach, sorrel, and poached eggs.

If you want to make a morel mushroom sauce, here is an interesting recipe. Mix the flour in the oil, dilute in meat broth, and boil until thickened. Finely chop the prepared morels and fry with onions. Add sour cream and mushrooms to the sauce, and boil. Add nutmeg, lemon juice, and herbs to taste into the finished sauce. Serve with veal, fish, and potatoes.

See also: 9 Best Porcini Substitutes You Must Try Today

The Bottom Line — Are Morel Mushrooms Worth It?

Are morel mushrooms worth money? Morel mushrooms are worth the money due to their unique health properties (anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and immunity boost), delicate velvet texture, in-depth nutty taste, and pungent earthy aroma. Despite a high price, morels are beneficial for the health and taste delicious.

See also: 12 Best Cremini Mushroom Substitutes – Mushroom and Non-Mushroom

Morel Mushrooms FAQ

Where Do Morel Mushrooms Grow?

Morel mushrooms grow on the edges of wooded areas (oak, elm, aspen, ash), in coniferous and mixed forests, on fertile and calcareous soils. Morels often grow on the banks of streams, along ditches and roads, and in deforested areas. Morels can also be found around dead and dying trees. 

Why Are Morel Mushrooms Sought After?

Morel mushrooms are sought after thanks to their unique rich nutty umami taste, meaty and velvety texture, and strong earthy aroma. Morels are a valuable source of iron (94% of the Daily Value), manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin D. Morels are used to substitute meat, too.

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