Morel is a mushroom that grows wild in the native and ancient forests of The End of the World Patagonia, near the Andes Mountains. It cannot be cultivated. It appears sporadically under branches and leaves in Oak, Raulí, Coihue and Patagonian Cypress forests.
Its wild nature, together with the difficulty in the harvesting and transportation make its sale price to rise. Its harvest is a difficult task which is done in a natural and chemical-free environment, in one of the last pollution-free regions left on the planet.
Its harvest has turned into an important source of income for native communities. Forests receive numerous visitors during spring, from September to December. Visitors are not tourists, but local men and women searching in every inch of land for morels, which grow in humid areas together with the Cypress and which can only be harvested by hand and artisanal ways.
Morel, delicate and mysterious-looking, resembles a honeycomb. For this reason, one of its Spanish names is colmenilla —literally little honeycomb. These characteristics —along with its being extremely difficult to search— make morel truly enigmatic.
Its high culinary value, together with its refined aroma and persistent flavor, make it vastly desired and valued. It is without a doubt one of the most prized fruits of the forest.
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