While this writer personally doesn't understand the hype and thinks they all taste like particularly bland boogers, mushrooms are a pretty important (some might say delicious) component of many a meal in many a cuisine. Great as an addition to any omelette and stir fry (I've heard), not to mention on its own as the giant Portobello variety, it's not difficult to see why they're a popular part of quite a few people's palates.
In this heady social media age, a quick trip to Instagram or Twitter will bring up several pictures of people enjoying their food, and you can imagine people probably do a similar thing with mushrooms. But as one Maryland resident found out, you should probably be a little more careful posting pictures of mushrooms - let's just say some mushroom experiences are more... vivid than others.
This is Maryland resident John Garrison, taking a couple of selfies next to his latest batch of personally-foraged morel mushrooms, a wild strain of mushrooms that are not only difficult to come by, but extremely expensive too; they're generally only seen in fancy meals paired with fancy wines, and their meaty, nutty flavour means that even mushroom haters like me might be able to enjoy them.
Long story short, morel mushrooms are not only delicious but completely legal too, and Garrison told us in his post that he intended to "sautee them with brown sugar and cinnamon and see how that turns out". Personally, I can imagine it tastes okay, but things took a bit of a weird turn less than 24 hours later.
According to Truthinmedia.com, Garrison was enjoying his presumably sautéed mushroom meal later on that day when he got an unexpected knock on the door from law enforcement. This wasn't a hungry cop looking to share a marvellous mushroom meal with a civilian; no, in a later post (which has since been deleted) Garrison said this police officer "thought he was on the biggest bust of his career thinking we were having a magic mushroom party".
“We had just finished eating the Morels we found today and heard a knock on the door. A police officer and an RA were standing outside. We let them in and as soon as the police officer walked in he asked us why we were eating mushrooms and posting about it online.
He thought he was on the biggest bust of his career thinking we were having a magic mushroom party before I explained to him that Morels are a native choice edible mushroom similar to truffles.”
Oh dear. But things only got more awkward as the officer refused to believe Garrison, even when our cook went and retrieved one of the mushrooms from the trash. Eventually, Garrison said another cop had to be called in to explain the situation to this officer on the hunt for justice, but not before Garrison's ID was processed.
"He wasn’t convinced. So I rummaged through the trash to find a peice [sic] of a Morel so that he would have evidence that we weren’t taking psychedelic mushrooms. I showed him and he still wasn’t convinced that they weren’t magic mushrooms, which was shocking to me because morels look nothing like a psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms and I figured a police officer would know what illegal drugs looked like.
A second police officer showed up and I showed her the Morel and she immediately knew it was a Morel which was a relief. They processed our ID’s and eventually left. What an experience."
Well. For John Garrison, the Morel (sorry) of this story is that we should all be careful about posting mushrooms on social media; you never know when the cops are going to knock on your door and try to arrest you for trying to enjoy a nice dinner. Let's hope that in the future, law enforcement officers around the world get a decent education on which mushrooms are illegal, and which are just useful in a chow mein or soba.