As far as edible varieties, one of the most sought-after foraged mushrooms of the fungi world is the morel. Can they be found in Utah? From the Wild About Utah site, and according to Michael Piep of Intermountain Herbarium, the answer is YES.
“In the recent film, Fantastic Fungi, Paul Stamets, Michael Pollan and other experts say that mushrooms can save the world, or at least parts of it. According to the mycologists quoted in the film, mushrooms hold answers to disease, pollution, anxiety, depression and global warming. There they are, right underfoot.”
Brown or tan gills, clean stem? Before ingesting any foraged mushroom, make sure you know what you have, here’s a helpful guide: https://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Edible-Mushrooms.
“Where does one find morels in Utah?”
“From under an old apple tree in Taylorsville to pine woodlands high in the canyons. In general, the white/yellow and half-free types tend to occur along streams and rivers most often on sand bars and tend to prefer areas with mature cottonwood trees nearby. Black morels are found at higher elevations typically on north or north-east facing slopes and most frequently under Lodgepole pine, but may be found with other conifer species and even quaking aspen. Gray morels don’t seem to be as choosy and can be found in both habitat types.”—Michael Piep of Utah State, Intermountain Herbarium
If you do forage, be sure to follow the ethical and protective environmental practices, it’s important to harvest modestly and follow the guidelines of “leave no trace.” While there are morel mushroom imposters, a true morel has two distinctive attributes: a hollow stem and is symmetrical when sliced in half. Apparently, skillet-fried and browned morels give off an earthy roasted peanut aroma and are generally eaten on their own.
Before ingesting any foraged mushroom, make sure you know what you have, here’s a helpful article: https://www.wikihow.com/Identify-Edible-Mushrooms.
Stay healthy, enjoy life, and go get some mushrooms.