INTO THE WILD

Q: What is the link between wild Morel Mushrooms and fire?

From the bright colours and juicy flavours of Winter Citrus we bring your the rich, earthy tones of the season’s gourmet fungi.  Simon George & Sons is excited to be able to offer a delicious range of imported wild mushrooms and Australian truffles this season. Well and truly at the gourmet end of the spectrum, these fungi hold a privileged status in the culinary world due to their rich flavours, textures and short seasons.

WILD MORELS:

Image: Waimea Trading

Availability: Imported: approx the next 3-4 weeks (usually April-May), Australian: Aug-early Oct

Appearance: morels are hollow with a distinctive spongy, honeycomb like cap that ranges in colour from gold to grey/brown

Preparation: toxic raw– clean by rinsing briefly under a very gentle flow of water and dry straight away- sweat the mushrooms until cooking water evaporates then prepare as desired (sauté/braise)

Flavour: smoky, nutty, mushroom flavour and aroma

 

WILD MOUSSERON: aka Gambi, Fairy Rings

Image: Waimea Trading

Availability: Apr – NovAppearance: small, delicate stem with an off-white to light brown cap that boasts widely separated, delicate gills.

Preparation: hold up well to longer cooking times due to the firm cap, lovely sautéed

Flavour: earthy full-bodied flavour and firm, fleshy texture

 

ITALIAN PORCINI: aka Boletus, Cépe

Image; Waimea Trading

Availability: approx the next 3-4 weeksAppearance: meaty, swollen looking white stem and slightly slimy, brown cap- the tight tubes under the cap should be yellow to green (don’t buy brown as this indicates they are overripe)

Preparation: brush clean or wipe with damp cloth (best not to wash) then stew, sauté, BBQ, stuff or grill

Flavour: rich, nutty flavour and meaty texture

 

AUSTRALIAN TRUFFLES: Superior Black Perigord Truffle

Image: Wine and Truffle Co

Availability: early Jun – end August (WA, TAS VIC/NSW)Appearance: a black, wrinkled tuber- sold by weight the smallest are about the size of a golf ball

Preparation: a precious commodity, truffle is used sparingly-similarly to a herb- finely chopped or shaved into pastas, seafood or egg dishes that will showcase the unique truffle flavour

Storage: truffles have a shelf-life of around 3 weeks. To ensure maximum longevity, wrap in paper towel, sit in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator (preferably crisper) – change paper towel daily. Unless you deliberately want to infuse eggs/mushrooms with the distinct truffle aroma, ensure they are stored in their own container as the aroma will permeate anything in close quarters

Flavour: highly perfumed, truffles have a sweet, earthy aroma and savoury, slightly nutty flavour

 

A: Morel Mushrooms are found in abundance in areas that have recently (within the last 2-3 years) experienced a bush or forest fire. While there is still some confusion as to why this is, the basic explanation revolves around the existing morel fungus moving on from its burnt, dead or dying host. Essentially, the fruiting body (mushroom) of the morel fungus appears when the tree to which they are linked stops keeping up its end of the bargain. The fungus withdraws from its host and in doing so, forms sclerotia (nodules) on the roots. Given the right conditions (warmth and moisture), these then swell and the morel mushroom appears on the surface.

 

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