Mushroom fever in West Michigan

Posted at 3:13 PM, Apr 25, 2017

WEST MICHIGAN -- A fever sweeps through every year about this time...mushroom fever. Once the snow melts and Spring arrives, so do the morel mushrooms.

Seasoned mushroom hunter Nicole Mathiasz tells FOX 17, “If you see big oaks or big elms, dying elms, ash trees, that’s always the best way to start. And then you hone in underneath of them."

When you find the right area, watch your step! Tasty morel mushrooms could be underneath and apparently they're good in everything.

“I love morels," says chef and mushroom hunter David Marin, "I love to cook with them in any possible way. You can use them in French cuisine, any kind of American cuisine, and Asian cuisine."

If searching high and low through the woods is not your cup of tea, there is a class in Kalamazoo that can help you get that mushroom fix.

“The mushroom class is about cropping mushrooms, cultivation of mushrooms," explains Kalamazoo Valley Community College teacher Lee Arbogast, "We’re not out wandering the woods, being free about it. This is very much about the work of identifying substrates or mushroom foods and preparing them for spawning our different species of domestic mushrooms."

FOX 17 stopped in on Shiitake day, which involved power tools, trees and mushroom plugs. Wild mushroom hunters could put Arbogast's class to the test with morels.

Arbogast explains, “You could find wild mushrooms and clone them, and grow them in your home environments if you’re up for the challenge. Morels are tough. People have been trying to grow morels in cultivation for years and they finally can but it’s pretty challenging still."

Whether you grow them or find them, mushroom lovers all agree on one thing Marin says,  “They’re just so darn tasty."