The search is on for one of Iowa's hidden treasures. Grab your basket and put on your hiking shoes! It's time to go hunting for morel mushrooms!

I'm not a fan of mushrooms. But if you fry up some morels in flour and butter, I'm game. These fungi as so great they can even turn a shroom hater like me into a fan! But the catch is they can be hard to come by. Morel hunters guard their secret spots like a sordid family secret. But there are some general guidelines and facts that can help you on your quest.

When Can I Find Morel Mushrooms?

Morels can be found anytime between March and May, but the Des Moines Register reports that you are looking for the following conditions to have the best shot at finding them.

  • Consistent, overnight ground temperatures over 50 degrees
  • Daytime temperatures averaging nearly 60 degrees

The Register also notes that you need a good amount of rainfall. Morels need moisture and warmth to grow.

Where Can I Find Morel Mushrooms?

That is the million-dollar question, isn't it? The Register suggests you start off by heading to wooded areas of Iowa. Morels have a relationship with certain types of tree roots. Look near elm trees, dying elms, and ash trees. Old apple orchards are another place to try looking.

via Unsplash
via Unsplash

How to Properly Store Your Prized Morel Mushrooms

Now that you have located morels, collect them using a mesh or basket as opposed to a plastic bag, according to the Register. You don't want to seal in heat and moisture. If you aren't going to eat them in the next couple of days, you can flash freeze or dehydrate the morels and store them in a glass jar in your fridge or cabinet.

Remember, morel mushrooms are hollow inside when you cut them open. Be sure what you're eating is the real deal!  The Register also states that morels are not safe to eat raw so cook them up any way you like.

Happy Hunting!

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