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Mushrooming without Fear: The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms

Mushrooming without Fear: The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms PDF

Author: Alexander Schwab

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing


Publish Date: October 17, 2007

ISBN-10: 1602391602

Pages: 128

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

It’s Safe, Easy and Fun
Follow this guide and you can enjoy picking and eating delicious mushrooms uninhibited by fear and doubt. In order to enjoy a homemade gourmet mushroom dinner you do not really need to know what basidia or hyphae are. Nor do you need to know how to identify dozens of tasteless or poisonous mushrooms which you wouldn’t want to eat in the first place.
Even advanced mushroom pickers face many uncertainties.
The same mushroom looks different in the various stages of its development and different again when conditions are, for example, very wet or very dry. There are no end of edible mushrooms. Twenty-odd of these are of serious culinary interest, of which about a dozen are outstanding. Quality, not quantity, is what you are after. By good luck, the quality mushrooms are also among the most easily identifiable mushrooms and some of these are among the most frequently encountered.
Mushrooms may look beautiful, but that does not mean that they are edible.

You wouldn’t buy a soggy, wormy, half rotten mushroom in the supermarket. So why pick it in the wood? Quality is what the discerning mushroom hunter is after.

With the safe method explained in this book, you will be able to identify the best mushrooms positively by their unique and unmistakable features.
Your part in the safe method is:

1. As a beginner, leave alone most mushrooms you pass
2. Look closely at what you see before you, not at what you wish was there
3. Stick to the rules and tick off every stage in the mushroom identification process

The fly agaric is the most well-known species. For gnomes, pixies, fairies and other such folk it is safe. For us common mortals it is poisonous! Do not believe any old wives’ tales regarding the identification of poisonous mushrooms. Stick to the safe method in order to identify the best edible mushrooms.

Why is the safe method safe? If you follow the safe method to the letter, you’ll automatically steer clear of deadly mushrooms or mushrooms causing permanent damage.
In the families of mushrooms presented and recommended here, there is not one deadly mushroom.
This is the reason why the field mushroom is not in this guide.
The field mushroom belongs to the group of mushrooms with gills, and especially when young, the feld mushroom can be confused with some deadly species. The safe method therefore asks you to ignore all mushrooms with gills because it is within the gilled group that all the seriously poisonous and deadly mushrooms are found. If you’re absolutely sure about the field mushroom, then pick it by all means. But unless you are 100 percent certain, hunt for field mushrooms and other species with gills in the supermarket only.
Within the recommended groups you will find some slightly poisonous mushrooms but these happen to be so bitter, hot-tasting or strong-smelling that nobody sane would eat them anyway should they find their way into a meal (which they won’t if you follow the safe method).
Poisonous mushrooms in the recommended groups cause gastrointestinal trouble of varying intensity. In other words: tummy ache.
Nevertheless there is absolutely no reason for complacency: a harmless tummy ache together with an existing medical condition can be dangerous.
Now, enough with the warnings. With this guide in hand, you are sure to have a safe and memorable experience collecting delicious mushrooms. Good luck and have fun!

How to use this guide

1. Read the entire book twice in order to understand the approach
2. Study the “Gills,” “Tubes,” “Spines” and “Ridges” sections until you’re confident you can correctly distinguish these features; then you’re ready for a foray
3. Double-check at home by going through the full identification process step-by-step

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