Can I eat this?

I’m pretty sure this is a morel that we’ve found in the yard, and I’m all ready to soak it salt water and fry it up in butter, but, given that some mushrooms are poisonous, I thought that I’d first run it by you – some anonymous people on the internet that I don’t really even know, and who likely have no knowledge of such things… So, is this a morel, and can I eat it? My life is in your hands.


And, assuming I live, I’m hoping to make “Can I eat this” a new feature here at…

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  1. donna*
    Posted May 3, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    today on the arborfood yahoo group, someone mentioned that true morels are hollow when you cut them open, and the bad guys are solid. * i am not a mycologist.

  2. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    According to my Peterson’s Field Guide of Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants, if it IS a False Morel and you eat it raw, you’ll know within 6 hours, as you’ll experience nausea, vomiting, watery or bloody diarrhea, cramps, and abdominal pain. Severe cases include jaundice, liver damage, high fever, dizziness, convulsions, coma, and possibly death 2-4 days after ingestion. The toxic compound (gyromitrin, which forms the deadly compound monomethylhydrazine upon hydrolysys) is highly volitile and may be destroyed by cooking, it says.

    The picture is a b/w drawing which sorta looks like that, but it’s hard to tell cause it’s just a b/w drawing. It’s hollow in the stem.

  3. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 3, 2009 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Everything else I’ve read online says true morels are hollow, false morels are not. Also they say true morel caps are connected to the stem at the bottom, false ones are not. But the Peterson’s guide says false morels are hollow or with cottony filaments inside, so… pick your expert.

  4. Chelsea
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Mark? Mark..?

    BTW, I think you own the most dangerous yard in America.

  5. Mike
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Morel hunters normally don’t give away where they found it, so be careful, you might have a bunch of people scoping out your yard now!

    It’s definitely an early morel, not a false one. Check out tis page for a good description and pictures of false vs real.

  6. Zach
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I’ve been “mushrooming” for years and this is almost certainly a young (though slightly stunted) morel. Do an internet search on “false morel” or “beefsteak morel” to get an idea of what they look like. BA is right, real morels are hollow on the inside and the stem connects right at the bottom of the cap. False morels are usually not hollow and the stem connects inside of the cap. False morels are usually, though not always, more reddish and “lobey” looking.

    My girlfriend and I haven’t found any yet this year but are hoping to find some in the next few weeks.

  7. Jules
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    No, it’s not a morel. So can I have it?

  8. Patrick
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I have always thought that mushrooms were pretty bland and boring. You probably should have eaten the dandelions in the background of your photo before they flowered instead. I have some morel hunter friends who put their ‘shrooms on the grill. Still pretty boring to me, but….
    Do you have a decent field guide, Mark? Peterson’s are pretty good. But if you don’t see every ID feature in the plant you find, don’t eat it. Also, Steve Brill’s book is pretty interesting. Bradford Angier, Tom Brown, Jr., Jim Meuninck, etc… You should probably cross reference everything in several field guide before you eat it, and maybe forage with very experienced people.

  9. Patrick
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    And Euell Gibbons has some interesting reading.

  10. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    You should probably cross reference everything in several field guide before you eat it

    Agreed. The field guides can’t fit everything into one little page snippet, and sometimes they’re not 100% accurate. Like the History Channel, except with more diarrhea.

  11. Paw
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    It’s true that there are mushrooms you shouldn’t eat. You can, however, suck on almost anything.

  12. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Paw. I couldn’t agree more. Want to go stinkhorn mushroom hunting with me this weekend?

  13. Zach
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Found about 6 lbs last night. Here are some pics of our 1/2 share.

  14. taffnerd
    Posted May 5, 2009 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    We found one of these two years ago in our front yard and wondered…This morning we harvested 6 oz. from the same front yard. Tonight we ate them (cooked) with butter, garlic and pasta. Absolutely delicious! Of course, I have 3 or 4 more hours to go before I can be sure I didn’t poison myself. Will update tomorrow…if I can!

  15. Patrick
    Posted May 6, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I used to forage a lot until I found my six year old in the yard with his Peterson’s Guide in one hand, a Death Angel in the other saying, “Hmm. This looks kind of good.”
    Then my three year old ate several pounds of Indian Strawberries. Not dangerous, but very spongey and no flavor.

  16. taffnerd
    Posted May 6, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    update: delicious and no intestinal problems. Ate more tonight in an omelette. Yum!

  17. Posted May 7, 2009 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Did you eat that banana you found in the parking structure last year?

  18. Posted May 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    So, NU? Did you eat it??

  19. NinaCosby19
    Posted March 27, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    By now, definitely not.

One Trackback

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