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.


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.



Q: What is the largest living organism in the world? 

A key sign that local mushrooms are at their peak season, is the arrival of the wild mushrooms at the markets. Mushrooms traditionally flourish following the onset of Autumn rains in Australia and after a wet summer in NSW they are already at the markets and great eating. 



The most common mushroom variety in Oz, Agaricus mushrooms are commonly sold by developmental stage rather than variety and are available all year round.

BUTTON (aka Champignon):


Youngest stage, it is tightly closed at stem, very firm and has a mild flavour which intensifies with cooking. Picked for stage of development, not size and can outsize cups

Best Use: Firm and hold shape well when cooked, great fresh in salads 




Most versatile, slightly open at stem to show a little gill, rich flavour and colour

Best use: Very versatile, stuff, slice, dice into soups, casseroles and sauces




Mature mushroom with flat cup and highly visible gills. These have a more intense flavour, meaty texture and rich colour

Best use: Best cooked. Think tempura, tapenades and roasting


There are two strains of Agaricus Bisporus commonly available:



Preferred by supermarkets. White mushrooms are a mutant strain (identified in 1926) that gained popularity due to their clean, fresh look and light mushroom flavour


SWISS BROWN (aka Honey Brown, Roman Brown, Italian Brown, Crimini): 

 Swiss Brown appear much the same as their white kin, however they are tan-dark brown in colour. They also differ in flavour with a deeper, earthier mushroom taste which is suited to risottos, antipasto platters and casseroles 

PORTABELLA: aka Portobello, Portabello 


The Portabella is a ‘Swiss Brown’ that has matured to the ‘flat’ stage of development. They are large, meaty, earthy and a fantastic substitute for meat on the BBQ

Best use: Grill, roast, BBQ


WILD PINE MUSHROOMS: aka Saffron Milk Caps, Orange Fly Caps


A fleeting Autumn crop, fresh Wild Pine Mushrooms are highly valued by food lovers. Locally produced in pine plantations, these are identifiable by their saffron-light brown cap, gills and short stem. They have a firm texture and a lovely spicy, nut flavour. Be sure to remove stems before use

Best use: When young and tender they are great in fresh pasta and omelettes. As they get older they get tougher, and are best suited to slow cooking in sauces and casseroles




A late Autumn crop the Slippery Jack is hard to come by but valued for their delicate texture and strong flavour. They have a chestnut-brown cap characterised by its slimy wet appearance and a yellow spongy underside. It is best to peel Slippery Jacks as the slimy cap can cause gastric upset 

Best use: Cooked when very fresh. Good for soups, frying or stewing

To get the most of the mushroom season we can only hope the rain eases. For while mushrooms need a good rain to get going, excessive rain can affect quality and in the case of wild varieties prevent access to crops and therefore limit supply.

A: It’s not the blue whale, but rather a Honey Mushroom colony that covers a staggering 8.9km² area of Malheur National Forest in Oregon, USA. Proven to be the same organism through DNA testing, the colony is believed to be over 2,400 years old and still growing. The organism is a parasitic fungus that grows on tree roots and spreads via shoestring like tendrils, it is identifiable by its yellow capped mushrooms and the swathe of dead trees it leaves in its wake