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Tips for Shopping for Morels

  • Select fresh morels individually to insure quality. Smell morels before buying them; they should have a woodsy, earthy fragrance. Choose morels that are very firm and springy to the touch, with no soft spots. Reject any that are dry or moldy.
  • Inspect the honeycombed crevices of the caps to be sure that they are not infested with worms or insects.
  • Opt for dried morels when fresh ones are out of season. With their wonderfully intense flavor, they are an excellent alternative. Fragrance is key when choosing dried morels; they should have a deep, smoky, woodsy scent.
  • Buy dried morels that are small; they tend to be the most delicious.
  • Check the bottoms of bags of prepackaged dried morels; avoid those with a lot of broken pieces or a powdery residue.
  • Mail-order fresh or dried morels through Marché aux Delices (888-547-5471); for dried ones only, call Epicurean Specialty (800-500-0065).
Published April 1999
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