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Record wildfire season could help shape restaurant menus

Last Updated Apr 21, 2018 at 12:25 pm PDT

Fire activity in the Bald Mountain area in August, 2017. (Courtesy BC Wildfire Service via Twitter)

Scorched earth left behind by BC wildfire season is helping sprout tasty mushrooms

A silver lining from last year's record-setting wildfire season in BC

KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) – Last year’s record wildfire season in BC could end up shaping the menu of your favourite restaurant this spring and summer.

The upside of all the damage sustained is the scorched earth left behind is prime habitat for a culinary delicacy and that combination is fantastic for Morel mushrooms, which are already sprouting.

“It’s the burned areas that produce enormous amounts of Morels the first spring following the [wildfires],” explains Paul Kroeger with the Vancouver Mycological Society.

When that happens, restaurants serving local food are only too happy to scoop them up, points out Jeremy Kershe, the chef at Fable Kitchen in Kitsilano.

“It means we just go crazy with them, they’d be on everything. We’d definitely try and use them in as many different ways as we could. We’d be running a few different pastas with them I’d say. They go really nicely with beef. You can stuff them with other proteins or vegetables.”

He adds it can help them plan certain aspects of the menu. “I’m just looking forward to getting some fresh ones in from some of our foragers and seeing where it takes us.”

This year’s harvest could end up being a record crop and he says restaurants will continue to use them as long as they’re available.