Mushrooms have an exquisite history as a delicacy around the world and we are no less tantalized when we find them on our plates today. Vegetarians in particular find immense pleasure in the juicy, meatiness of a well-stewed mushroom, while carnivores enjoy them as a succulent accompaniment to a perfectly seared, sizzling steak. It is common in certain parts of the world to include mushrooms in every meal, as their subtlety and versatility are warmly welcomed by virtually any dish or palette. But how many of us know the origin of these culinary cornerstones? How many truly appreciate the journey they travel to our kitchens? Who can really understand the many facets of the humble ’shroom that endow its various species with such delectable properties? After an extremely illuminating interview with local mushroom hunter Scott Moran, I discovered a whole new depth of flavour to relish whenever any of those earthen gems crossed my lips.
In his hands is a large wad of rubbery-looking phalanges, sprinkled with dirt and a musty perfume. They are morels, collected the previous day in the local forests, and he plans on serving them for dinner. The five-star restaurants fight for a chance to pay top dollar for these? Hard to believe these funky growths will soon become a sumptuous meal worthy of the finest table.
I should know better than to doubt Scott Moran the Mushroom Man. He’s been hunting these dirt dwellers with his father and brother for over a decade across British Columbia and has acquired a fine expertise that can only be earned in the trade.
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