Morel Hunting? Don’t Be Fooled by These Poisonous Fake Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are a tasty treat everyone is looking for this time of year but there are fakes that could make you sick.
A friend of mine shared this photo of mushrooms on Facebook asking if these were morels and she got a quick answer. Everyone agreed these are fake morels, commonly called half frees, half caps or pecker heads. As to whether they are edible, it got a little confusing with some people warning to stay away and others claiming they eat them all the time. Let's go to the experts:
The term "false morel" describes a few species of mushrooms that contain a toxin known as monomethyl hydrazine (MMH). This is the same chemical found in certain rocket fuels and can cause dizziness, vomiting, and in some cases even death.
Mushroom appreciation goes on to say "although certain people and cultures insist the false morel is safe to consume with the right preparation, the truth is one never knows how toxic any given false morel will be." I'd say you're probably better safe than sorry.