~by Milan Pelouch
For such a slim volume, How to Find Morels is exceptionally useful, providing wonderfully valuable information about mushroom hunting and hunting for morels in particular. Milan Pelouch covers nearly every aspect (finding, preserving, and eating) in an easy-going and approachable way for both practiced hunters and novices alike.
While the tone of the text is very conversational, it can be somewhat meandering at times--repeating itself and with occasional organizational problems. However, as the book is rather brief (and easily read in one sitting), this fault isn't as problematic as it could be. Regardless, Pelouch provides fantastic information, tips, and recommendations, arming readers with great skills to pursue the wily morel. Subjects addressed encompass everything from supplies and tools needed for a pleasent hunt, where to search, and what to look for to preserving and eating the find. Basic information is also given about the mushrooms themselves, when they're in season, and even the possibility of cultivation.
Also included are a number of recipes using or featuring morels which were contributed by the author's wife, Lila. Unless I brought back a particularly large crop that I was willing to experiment with, I personally would skip these and stick to what I know and love: fry 'em up in butter and flour with a bit of salt for seasoning added. Pelouch briefly mentions this preparation, but does not appreciate it as much as I and my family do--he would most likely attribute this to the fact that we hail from Ohio.
Probably one of my favorite things about this book is the photography. Not only is Pelouch an avid mushroom hunter, he is an avid (and quite skilled) mushroom photographer as well. The pictures are gorgeous in addition to being informative.
I grew up hunting mushrooms with my family and morels were always prized above all others. Now I feel even more prepared, and excited, for my next hunt. It is true that mushroom hunters often will keep their secrets to themselves (even people in my family have been known to keep information from each other) which makes this book even more beneficial. I might even share it. Maybe.