Q: How do You Preserve a Morel Mushroom?
A: Put it in Cheese
To be honest, I have always thought that truffle-infused cheese is kind of gross. Why overwhelm the perfect delicacy that is cheese with truffles? Obviously, truffles are delicious under the right circumstances, like whisked into aioli and shaved over risotto. But don’t bring that shit near my precious cheese. Morel mushrooms, on the other hand, have a gentle complexity. They’re sensitive enough to play with cheese, and shine particularly well with something that has a bit of age and firmness to the paste. This Idyllweiss, a joyful little cow and goat milk blend from Idyll Farms, in Michigan, is the perfect medium for the morel. Together, they taste like a mild truffled mac n’ cheese, which is a correct use of truffles by the way.
I paired it this Morel Idylweiss with ground cherries from Nichols Farm & Orchard. I had never tried ground cherries before. Turns out they taste like a cross between cantaloupe and tomatoes, sweet and acidic with a juicy burst of flavor when you pop them on your palate. They’re ideal for rich cheese with a bit of chew, like Idyllweiss. When you combine this sweet yet earthy fruit with a toothsome cheese perfumed by tender chunks of morel mushrooms, it makes like a picnic in the forest. I didn’t drink with it, but I bet a funky Spanish cider would be tasty, or a Syrah with a little bit of a dirty edge.
Milk: pasteurized cow & goat
Provenance: Northport, MI
Cost: about $7 per piece (approx. 4 oz)
Palate level: medium
Profile: doughy, hints of mustard, mushrooms (obviously)
Pairings: juicy fruits, funky ciders, light Syrah