Thursday, May 3, 2012

How to keep your morels fresh

A simple Google search on this topic yields various confusing answers. I wanted to share how I try to keep my morels as fresh as I can for as long as possible.

  1. NEVER WASH YOUR MORELS UNTIL YOU COOK THEM!!!! That's right, LEAVE THEM DIRTY. The morels will absorb the water and they will become soggy very quick.
  2. NEVER USE PLASTIC BAGS!!!! Plastic bags will also turn the morels into mush very quickly. If you must use a bag make sure it's paper.
  3. WEED OUT THE BAD ONES. When storing lots of morels, it is a given that you will lose 8-12% of your weight due to moisture damage. Pick the bad morels out daily. If you fail to do this, moisture sets in and it spreads like wildfire. Your morels were turn soggy and become bug infested. Yuk!
  4. REFRIGERATE IMMEDIATELY!!! Keep your morels cool and they will stay fresher longer. When storing, find containers that allow you to spread your morels out so that their own weight does not crush them. Here are some pictures of what I use.

I line this plastic bin with newspaper to store my uncleaned morels. Each of these bins can store about 6  pounds of morels. The slotted bin is key because it allows for proper aeration.

If you can't find a storage bin like above, these cardboard mushroom flats (like this one I picked up for free from the produce guy at Safeway) also work well. Just place some newspaper on top when storing in the fridge to protect them and keep 'em dry.

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