Novices eager to collect tasty wild mushrooms will find this unique guide invaluable. Unlike others, it focuses only on those types that are both safe to eat and delicious. Most important, it presents the eight rules of mushroom gathering in a straightforward fashion—including “Never, never take a mushroom with gills” and “If a mushroom smells rotten, it is rotten.” Among the many mushrooms covered are the cep; the red-cracked, larch, bay, and birch boletes; hen of the woods, chanterelle, trumpet chanterelle, hedgehog fungus, common puffball, horn of plenty, and cauliflower mushroom. Each is identified with several color photographs and identification checklist, and there’s also information on mushroom season, handling, storage, and cooking, complete with recipes.
October 17, 2007
File Size: 87 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese
grew up in Switzerland and gained a master’s degree in philosophy and history at Aberdeen University. He now lives in the beautiful Emmental region of Switzerland and fills the gaps between fishing trips by working as a management consultant. His hobbies include mushrooming, cooking, exploring the countryside, and reading poetry. He is the author of, and <div id="
This book has phenomenal pictures of the mushrooms. Unfortunately that’s all it has going for it.Here, 128 pages are devoted to only 12 mushroom species. (Not mushroom “types” as is suggested on the rear cover, these are twelve particular species). Surprisingly little space is devoted to content. Consider:- 17 pages are title sheets with section titles, the table of contents, and a blank filler page- 13 pages are devoted to explanation of, and multiple re-hashings, of 8 basic rules of collecting. One page, which begins with the words “Always remember…” is repeated FIVE TIMES. That’s five copies of the same one-page reminder, which has also been thoroughly rehashed several times before.The margins are extremely wide and the text is large. The photographs, while impressive, are sometimes accompanied by only one or two sentences per page. Some photographs have no text at all, and a few are repeated at different places in the book either by direct repetition or by Photoshop cropping or bunching.Critical identification techniques (such as spore printing) are completely absent from this book. Identification instructions are so vague as to be almost impossible to use effectively. Although the photographs are outstanding, some of them are repeated to fill space. Mushrooms are seldom shown in the button stage.Shockingly, the poisonous look-alikes are not actually shown. In some cases, key information about poisonous look-alikes is missing. For example, the Jack O’ Lantern mushroom (which is identified in SOME field guides as having gills but which can often resemble the false gills or “ridges” of a chanterelle) is found almost exclusively on rotting wood. This so-called guide says that the chanterelle is found on the forest floor, but a key identification component for the mildly poisonous look-alike is omitted. (By “mildly poisonous”, I mean an effect serious enough to require hospitalization but not necessarily fatal). The far more dangerous galerina mushrooms, which are also easily mistaken for chanterelles especially the trumpet chanterelles, are not mentioned.The fact that at least some orange-capped boletes are mildly poisonous does not deter the author from recommending the orange birch bolete. Likewise, several blue-bruising and red boletes are toxic. The puffball is shown in cross section (as is appropriate) but the look-alike “Destroying Angel”, one bite of which will cause liver failure in an adult, looks almost identical in its immature form. Most responsible authors provide at least a drawing of a baby amanita to show what it looks like before it bursts out of its volva. Immature agarics can also resemble puffballs (although agarics generally aren’t quite as toxic as the death cap or destroying angel amanitas, which can and will kill you with one bite).Some of the safety recommendations are overkill: it is not necessary to cook all wild mushrooms for fear they have been contaminated by “dogs”. If the mushroom has been soiled by a dog, don’t pick it or eat it. Similarly, there is no mushroom so toxic that it is dangerous to touch or to cut with a knife. Instead of overstating the risks of touching the wrong mushroom, the author would have been better advised to at least draw a picture of the deadliest mushrooms in their button form, which is when they are most likely to be confused with edible ones.Expect a lot of baby talk. The term “tummy ache” makes an appearance, as does an extended ramble about Santa Claus near the end of the book. Some of the information about fly agaric is just plain wrong: the fly agaric found in Europe happens to be a different species from North American fly agaric, so the stories about berzerkers and Santa Claus (while amusing) are in reference to the wrong mushroom. Add to this the spelling errors and repetition, and you will see that the book was clearly not peer reviewed or even edited prior to publication. There is no index, and sources are not cited.Note also that the author decided– on page 102 of 128– to redefine some basic North American geography. “Eastern North America” is assumed to be primarily north of Georgia, the “Pacific Northwest” is assumed to be Washington, Oregon, and parts of Idaho, and “California” refers to the Bay Area only. The Rocky Mountains and Midwest are completely ignored, as is the entire nation of Canada. This IS NOT A NORTH AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE.This author most likely knows how to take a spore print and what an amatoxin is. Unfortunately he has oversimplified mushroom collection to the point where he is not providing enough identification information to safely identify the twelve desireable mushrooms in the book. This is ironic given the extent to which the author harps on safety.If you want an actual North American field guide, the National Audubon Society is an excellent field guide, and Michael Kuo’s “100 Edible Wild Mushrooms” will provide you with far more useful information.
A very clear guide and system to identifying SOME of the choice edible mushrooms out there (I am in Virgina and it works for me…most of the shromms listed are available across the US). MUST READ FROM FRONT TO BACK including the Introduction (no skipping) to understand the rules of his system. Yes, there are plenty of other edible mushrooms out there that are not mentioned in this book. This book is merely meant to get you started and keep you absolutely, unquestionably safe. It is *not*, however, intended to be a guide to *all* edible mushrooms.You will see critiques of this book that say the suthor tells you not to eat mushrooms with gills. That’s because it is HIS SYSTEM of keeping you safe at first. Of course there are edible mushrooms with gills. Are they able to be confused with potentially toxic mushrroms? YES> That’s why they are not in this book. If critics would have read the info instead of taking bits out of context, they would have seen that.I am a biologist who has been studying and eating and growing my own mushrooms for years. I recommend this book ONLY FOR BEGINNERS. People who have some mushroom study already under their belt do not need this system. It’s great for the completely un-initiated who don’t want to die.
Initially I thought this was a good guide, but after reading through it basically you are mushrooming without fear because you are only learning about mushrooms without gills. Boletes, polypores and Cantharellus species. While this may seem intriguing, please know that there are hundreds of species of Boletes in North America, some of which are poisonous. I’d recommend North American Boletes if you are interested in learning more about them, and I would highly recommend purchasing a field guide for your region for other species. Also be sure to learn how to do a spore print and get involved with your local mycolgical society as well as many mushroom identification Facebook pages.
This book takes the questionable mushrooms out of the equation in foraging. I had a great day mushroom hunting with this book by my side. I’m a beginner forager and trust me there’s a lot of fungi that may put you in the ER,so as a starting guide this is Awesome, direct to the point with easy identity. Have fun, great exercise, stay in the woods!
This is a VERY basic guide if you are just beginning to forage for mushrooms. Very…very basic. I can save you some money…don’t pick anything with gills!! This book repeats this over and over…however, we all know that there are many good, edible mushrooms with gills. So, this leaves you wondering how other folks find all of these amazing mushrooms if they aren’t taking ones with gills. There is a learning curve with mushrooming. You DO have to be careful what you pick! But this guide really leaves me flat with lack of knowledge…again, VERY BASIC guide.
Great first mushroom hunting book. Follow the rules. Illustrations and photos with what you need to get started. Follow the rules. Grab your basket and bug spray. Follow the rules. They even have pictures of poison ivy, oak, and sumac! Follow the rules. There are pictures and illustrations of trees which is very helpful. If you follow the rules listed you shouldn’t go wrong.
I was advised to get this book from Facebook mushroom hunting West Virginia said it was great for beginners I highly recommend this and I will put it on their Facebook page thank you again very much, a lot more information than what is showed on these pictures
Despite having lived in Europe and having married into Central European roots (where “mushrooming” is widely practised without fear) I have always harboured a very British concern about harvesting and eating wild fungi. Result? I love mushrooms, but end up paying through the nose for them at supermarkets. However well-intentioned those purveyors are, they cannot match the freshness of foray to food in less than an hour.This book has overcome all those prejudices. With one simple and oft-repeated rule–and seven other subsidiary rules–you can start producing excellent fresh sauces and preserved mushrooms yourself and live to tell the tale.Easily read (front to back cover in twenty minutes over a cup of coffee in my case) you will have the confidence to identify and reject the poisonous fungi that give their ilk a bad name. Along with them, to be on the safe side, you’ll also reject the field mushroom, but to compensate you’ll find plenty of other more exotic and flavoursome varieties.It’s worth considering the hardback version of the book that comes with a pocket field guide to carry into the woods. It’s not enclosed in the paperback. However, this version is perfectly serviceable and takes up less shelf space!PS – This book also explains that what we call a “mushroom” is not, in fact, a mushroom! How weird is that?
Clear, highly accessible guide – it cuts out all the mushrooms with gills and reduces the field to a group of readily identifiable, edible mushrooms. It includes clear guidelines, encouraging the reader to read the book twice before going out so that they are confident about the principles it explains. It gives 12 edible (UK) mushrooms with good quality images and clear rules for identification, rejecting lots of edible mushrooms which are harder for an amateur to identify with confidence. However, these 12 are reasonably common, There’s even a folding field identification card included so that you don’t have to carry the whole book out into the wilds but can be pretty sure before taking your trophies back home for the full check!I think the book’s a great idea, easy to read and opens the door to a great deal of fun hunting for edible fungi. Why not five stars? It’s a pity it throws out things like shaggy ink caps which are still easy to identify but gilled…. but that is being picky! Supposedly, there’s an associated website at […] but it won’t open for me.
Very useful book with clear instructions and photos
A well advertised over priced conn!
A well thought out book which was clear and simple useful. A good place to start I would certainly recommend it.
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