Morel Mushrooms: Full of Umami


I finished planting corn Monday.  I celebrated by going Morel mushroom hunting with my Dad.  We found some beauties. 

We searched around dead or dying Elm trees.  Our forest has been ravaged by Dutch Elm disease.

Some Morels were boldly out in the open, like the one pictured above.  Most were hidden like the ones pictured below, and would be invisible to an untrained eye.  All were a pleasure to find and eat. 


Why are Morels so delicious?  Mushrooms, and other protein-rich foods, are full of the fifth taste, Umami.  Umami is a Japanese word meaning, tasty.  Savory, brothy, meaty, are other ways to describe Umami.  Basically, it’s the taste of protein; or the taste as amino acids are broken down.  We all crave Umami and I enjoyed it in spades on the meat diet.

The four other main tastes are:  sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.  I was thinking metaphorically about the five tastes.  If I was to be described by one of the tastes, I would want to be Umami.  Tasty, hearty, interesting, challenging.   And I like to surround myself with Umami people.

Sweet is nice, but kind of uncomfortable for me.  Salty is the way I think of my Grandpa; cussing, telling stories about the old days.  Great quality for a grandpa.  Sour and bitter can describe many people.  I’m sure you will agree these people are simply endured and difficult to enjoy.

I’ll never be sweet or salty.  I could become sour and/or bitter.  I’m striving  to be Umami.  Which taste are you?

One Response to Morel Mushrooms: Full of Umami

  1. wsb says:

    What an interesting post and ideas to consider. Great photos too. Thanks for your blog!

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