Do you recognize this little beauty?
It's a morel mushroom - a black one - and are they ever tasty. My husband has a number of morel patches he frequents regularly this time of year; super secret patches. I've been sworn to secrecy never to reveal the locations on the island where these elusive little guys grow. When a friend of ours, another avid morel hunter, moved to Colorado, my husband sat down with him, a map of the island and a highlighter. A was thrilled to discover all of R's closely guarded spots.
Once the black ones have finished, the white ones will appear. Hopefully, that is, if the weather cooperates... They are kind of challenging to find, but I'm getting better at it every year. My husband amazes me - he can spot them growing on the side of the road as he rides by on his bicycle. I on the other hand, have to be practically on top of them before I see them.
We usually find enough each spring to make three or four meals. My husband dries them and then rehydrates them (with water, wine or milk) when he is ready to use them. If you've never had morels before, they have a wonderful, almost nutty flavor. I love them, but I'm not willing to shell out the $20.00 per ounce to buy fresh ones. Having to find them ourselves just makes them an even bigger treat.