Seems like a silly question, but one that is perplexing to this fungus amateur: Why would one batch of morels be much less potent than another?
Here's the story: My boyfriend and I tried morels for the first time a couple weekends ago...bought them from a local grocer and cooked them using a recipe found in Chez Panisse Vegetables. They were so delicious that the next day we bought another round (from a different grocer this time - it was a Sunday and our favorite grocer was closed) - cooked those up with the same recipe. Again, one of the most delicious mushroom recipes either of us has ever tasted.
Since morel season is fleeting, last weekend we decided to try another batch, same recipe, doubled, but throw it over hand-cut Pappardelle. This batch came out almost flavorless. The morel flavor was there, but only slightly, not pronounced. Also, when cooking, we noticed they didn't smell the same. The dish was a flop.
The conditions of the day were very hot and the morels we picked out seemed to be thicker, less moist. They still had as many worms as the first two rounds.
I'd love to find out your experienced thoughts on why these morels came out tasting so inferior to the first couple batches. Perhaps it was something in the way we cooked them? Although, we did everything the same as the first two times, only doubled.
The sat in a plastic bag for a while. Could that have depleted their extraordinary taste?
Is that just how it is with morels? You take your chances when you buy them?
Any insight would be super. We'd like to buy them again, but are a little leery due to the high price and lack of stellar return on flavor result from this last round.