Also known as “Logging Morels,” these butterscotch-toned wild mushrooms are typically the first of the season to appear in the Pacific Northwest, often found by the Forestry Service. Eschewing the formality of saving best for last, these Morels are among the most revered of all. They look like a desaturated variation on the iconic honeycomb silhouette, but they tend to maintain immaculate cleanliness that’s extremely rare for wild mushrooms of any kind. They further distinguish themselves by having a double celled wall that thickens and fortifies their texture compared to other Morels, allowing the Blondes to retain a sturdy texture that won’t drift toward squishiness or frailty. When seared, their fragrance is fantastically nutty, their flavor complex and earthy, with a versatile balance between dark sweetness and meaty umami. Their season is brief, their value is staggering, but their presence in a dish is irreplaceable. Spring is abundant with stunning wild edibles, but Blonde Morels might truly be the cream of the crop.
Oregon, United States