Morchella elata: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Morchella elata Mushroom
Morchella elata is a choice edible mushroom that should be well cooked before consumption.
The scientific name Morchella elata was applied in the past to this and other related species but it’s no longer valid. Morchella importuna is the current name for Black Morels found in wood-chip beds and burnt grounds.
Like other Morels this species varies a lot in size, color and shape from mushroom to mushroom.
Other names: Black Morel.
Morchella elata Identification
3–8cm across, 5–12 cm tall, sometimes conical in shape, but it’s often globular. Has an irregular array of pits separated by narrow ridges to give the honeycomb structure.
White or pale cream and 3–12cm tall.
Deep cream to yellow in color, elliptical and smooth. They are located in the pits of the honeycomb-like structure of the cap.
Not to be confused with
The poisonous false morel (Gyromitra esculenta) is found in sandy soil under pine trees.
Morchella elata Toxicity
Morels contain small amounts of hydrazine toxins or an unknown toxin that are destroyed through cooking, (the presence of hydrazine is controversial since there are no primary references of hydrazine having been detected in the species), so morel mushrooms should never be eaten raw. It has been reported that even cooked morels can sometimes cause mild intoxication symptoms when consumed with alcohol.
This mushroom should not be eaten as it causes gastrointestinal disorder and cannot easily be identified without a microscope.
Morchella elata Taxonomy & Etymology
The Black Morel that we find in Europe was described scientifically in 1822 by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries, who gave it the name Morchella elata. Other synonyms of Morchella elata include Helvella esculenta (L.) Sowerby, Phallus esculentus L., and Morchella rotunda (Fr.) Boud.
The generic name Morchella is said to come from morchel, an old German word meaning 'mushroom', while the specific epithet elata is Latin and simply means tall.
Morchella elata Cooking Notes
Morels are very good when fried in butter and served on toast with a creamy sauce. Also, make mushroom soup and serve it in dishes with one whole Morel floating in the middle with a small splash of fresh cream.
All Morels are marvelous when served with a meat dish such as beef or pork and a selection of roasted vegetables.
Dried Black Morels in a sealed container will last indefinitely.
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