IT MEANS MOTHER NATURE.

AND IT’S TRUE.

First false morels appear

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Soil is being sun kissed by spring sun and tree buds are preparing to burst into blossoms and fresh green leaves. The most observant nature friends catch the sounds of birds that have returned from warmer places, somebody meets the first grass snake, but someone – notice the first false morels.

In Latvian forest in spring two species of false morels can be found: brain mushroom (Gyromitra esculenta) and snow morel (Gyromitra gigas). From this mushroom genus the brain mushroom can be found in dry sandy pine forests already in April.

The fruity body of brain mushroom is 2-10 cm high and with a wide reddish-brown cap. Its lobes are more or less attached to the stipe, creating brain-shaped wrinkles that resemble brain by its structure. Stipe is 3-9 cm long and 1.5-3 cm wide, off-white, yellowish or rosy, lightly hairy, stout. The pulp of mushroom has a waxy consistency.

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Many Latvian citizens still use false morels in their diet. In manors of Kurzeme before the World War I, this mushroom was collected and used for consumption to a great extent.  Finland also praises the sauce of this mushroom as a real delicacy.

Literature holds pretty contradicting information about this mushroom. “Earlier it was considered that false morel contain a toxic component – helvellic acid, which vaporises when mushrooms are boiled. In the 20th century chemists discovered that no helvellic acid exists, but these mushrooms contain a very toxic alkaloid – gyromitrin, which does not vaporise when boiled,” explains Guna Baltiņa, the Environmental planning expert of LVM. Part of gyromitrin disintegrates over a period of half of a year, when dried mushrooms are stored in an open container, but not all of it.  

That is why experts advise not to consume these mushrooms.

 

 

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