I’m a forager by nature, and take great joy in finding ‘free food’ that’s fresh, delicious and most importantly, safe to eat. I’ll admit that I’m not a mushroom eater, but my husband loves them. Every week we purchase a container of store-bought mushrooms for him. My forager’s daydream is to be able to gift him with a basket of fresh, fun, free fungi, picked by hand, and most importantly, safe. I have no wish to become a widow before my time.
If only I could sit down and spend the afternoon chatting with a knowledgeable mushroom forager. Oh, wait… I can! Author Frank Hyman takes a casual, friendly approach towards teaching us about mushroom foraging. The jokes, silly remembering-rhymes and fun anecdotes from his own foraging adventures entertain us as we learn. Behind that relaxed attitude though, the information he shares is solid.
Keep in mind that Frank’s book focuses on the mushrooms of Europe. But this Michigander in the United States has already found it useful. I’m particularly interested in Chicken of the Woods. Frank swears it tastes just like chicken! I’m also intrigued by the Cauliflower mushroom. If it really does taste like buttered egg noodles, one of my childhood favorite dishes, I just might be converted to a mushroom aficionado after all. Based on his recommendations, I googled to see if these mushrooms grew in Michigan. To my delight, they do! I’ll continue to search for other mushrooms available to me locally. A hint to the author—it would be wonderful to have a sister-book focusing on the mushrooms of North America.
Thank you to author Frank Hyman, NetGalley, and Storey Publishing for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.