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How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying (Book Review)

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How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying – An absolute beginner’s guide to identifying 29 wild, edible mushrooms, is a book with a fantastic title by Frank Hyman.

It’s a visually very appealing book, with beautiful photo and a lovely design that makes it feel accessible even if you’ve never thought about foraging before.

It starts with a basic guide to what mushrooms are, and moves on to provide tips for responsible foraging that won’t end up with you in hospital. There is a helpful section on mushrooms that grow on trees (with and without gills – don’t worry, you’ll learn what they are).

Most of us think about mushrooms as things that grow on the ground and follow the basic rules people of don’t touch any of them, especially the ones that look like they belong in a fairy story. If that’s you, the next chapter is perfect.

It covers fungi with and without gills that grow on the ground, with a special section on what species to steer clear of. The book makes clear that good judgement will help you on your journey to becoming a confident mushroom hunter, and gives you all the guidance you’ll need to get there.

Beyond foraging

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Foraging is only the start of the story. You also need to know what to do with them, as we pick wild foods in order to use them somehow – normally for eating! Hyman includes a chapter on cooking and preserving your haul so you can make the most of what you’ve found.

Finally, the book covers useful tools so you can go into the woods prepared, as well as further tips for growing in confidence and experience.

There are plenty of mushroom ID books but they tend to be written for people who already have an idea of what they are doing. For example, an alphabetical list is only useful if you already know their names!

This book is different because it focuses on what you can easily spot while you are walking in the woods – the identification guide doesn’t rely on aroma or spore print colour because who knows what they are when you are going about your business in the forest?

It is accessible, fun, helpful, obviously written by someone who knows his stuff, and the perfect book to accompany you in a walk, even if you have no plans to pick and eat what you find. You’ll learn something and have fun looking!

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How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying
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Author: Frank Hyman

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