Like a Fungi Phoenix, Morel Mushrooms Rise From the Ashes

The bumper crop is a welcome, if bittersweet, byproduct of last year’s devastating fires.

In the ashes of coniferous trees devastated by the fires of late 2017, the precious and tasty Morel mushroom springs forward in abundance. California chefs and fungi fanatics are foraging the delicious little wonders in quantities not seen in years.

According to Eater San Francisco, “Morels, whose scientific name is Morchella, are so highly valued because they’re foraged, not farmed: Their symbiotic relationship with trees is tough to replicate on a commercial scale. As to why they fruit after fires, Kabir Peay, an assistant professor of biology at Stanford, calls that phenomenon “a little bit of a mycological mystery.”

“Fungi will often reproduce either when things are really good, or really bad,” says Peay. “In a lot of cases when their resources are all used up, they’ll create new mushrooms to move on… to find new resources to eat.”

Read more about the Morels’ amazing year and where to find them here.

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