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May 17 2021 12:00 am

Molly mooching: A West Virginia springtime tradition

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – We all know that April showers bring May flowers, but did you know they also bring molly moochers? A tasty snack with a funny name and deep Appalachian roots.

There is no better time than now to get out and search for molly moochers. These funny fungi are also known as a morel mushroom and serve as the gold at the end of a West Virginia treasure hunt, but to find them you have to get out into the woods.

“The times that I start looking is after I see the dandelions start to come up or one of the old wives tails is when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrels ear,” says Scott Bird who has just started bake up with morel hunting.

Like any good West Virginia tradition, Molly Mooching has some science behind it too.

“You want at least five consistent nights of it being fifty degrees at night you know once you get that that’s a sign that they will start popping,” says West Virginia DNR field biologist, Brian Streets.

Morels are tricky to find, but are a great opportunity to get family together.

“We all love nature and it’s just something we can all get out and go do together and it is kind of a family thing,” Matt Oldham tells 13 News.

Morels are likely to grow near certain types of trees explains Streets, “a dying elm tree that is starting to lose its bark but still has some life in it and has some leaves I find hundreds under those kinds.”

Once you find them it’s time to eat! but remember you need to cook them first! which is where more fun begins and the arguments for the best way to eat them.

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