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My 1st grade son and I went hunting in some local woods today (cincinnati) and I thought for sure we wouldn't find anything. He had watched a video online and it seemed like a fun outdoor activity with such nice weather. Well sure enough, he found some! He was so proud. Now I'm a little concerned if they are edible or not. Somw are very small (really hope we didn't pick them too early). And some seem kind of wet or mushy? I found a couple really big ones later but they appeared kind of rotten....one had a centipede or worm inside.

Can anyone help us? Are these ok to eat or did we pick too early or too late? Several of them were kind of lying down rather than standing straight up. Clearly we have no clue what we are doing but it was such a fun day we would love to learn and try again. And if these are edible we will have for dinner tonight!

Thanks for any help!
 

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Yep those are sponge mushrooms :) little critters like being on the inside of them sometimes... I always cut the bottom off straight, then cut in half from the top of mushroom down.. then soak in salt water for about a day.. then rinse before cooking.. the salt water kills anything nasty on them.. as far as wet/mushy, id say there just fresh....they turn almost whiteish when dry.. congrats on your first batch.. there yummy :)
 

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Those are beautiful Morels. Soak them in some salt water about 10 minutes, rinse and let dry in a strainer for a bit.

Split in half lengthwise, roll in egg, then cornmeal and fry in a pan. I use olive oil but any oil will do. Eat em like French fries with ketchup or barbeque sauce.

Or...slice and add to your favorite frozen or homemade pizza, my favorite.

You will love it! Good job!
 

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Thank you both for the quick and helpful responses. He's over the moon! Looks like we will be treasure hunting until the season ends, and we will be eating out first morels with dinner tomorrow. Happy hunting!
 

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Thank you both for the quick and helpful responses. He's over the moon! Looks like we will be treasure hunting until the season ends, and we will be eating out first morels with dinner tomorrow. Happy hunting!
Im about 2 hours east of yall in portsmouth and hoping to get my 11 year old son and 14 year old stepson finding a whole mess load. (Btw I've never really picked a morel i wouldn't eat lol.) Its awesome your little one took the incentive to get out and find these little guys. If you're ever down this ways during a warm kinda muggy or humid day, you might consider huntin around shawnee forest or around West Portsmouth. Hunted there since for as far back as I remember. Dad always had us in the woods. Mushrooms, ginseng, squirrels, deer, Turkey. I had a blast. I just hope my youngins get the same if not better experience and appreciation for the wood as j did.
 
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