Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Riverwalker’s Book Review and Giveaway - The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms

Foraging for edible foods in the wild can be an important skill that everyone should learn in order to be more self-reliant. Unfortunately, many food items found in the wild can be deadly if you lack the proper knowledge about the items you are foraging. Wild mushrooms are one such item that require a good guide in order to determine if the mushrooms you find are safe to eat.

In The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms by Pelle Holmberg and Hans Marklund, the authors have created a condensed version of their larger book on foraging for mushrooms. This smaller and portable version contains a guide to many of the more common mushrooms found in the wild. It includes excellent pictures of the various types of edible mushrooms that are generally found in the wild. Cutaway views of the mushrooms are also included in order to help you further properly identify your wild mushrooms.

Amazingly, this is one pocket guide that actually fits in your pocket, even if it is a little tight. This makes it a lot easier to keep handy when you are out foraging for edible mushrooms. The guide also offers some helpful tips on cleaning and cooking your mushrooms properly. There is also a small reference section for more extensive information on mushrooms in the wild along with a handy index section for quick reference.

The only drawback of this guide is there isn't very extensive information on where the different edible mushrooms can be found. The guide does reference basic regions and areas where edible mushrooms are found but you may need a larger and more detailed guide for specific varieties of edible mushrooms in your area. This guide does include a very extensive section on beginner mushrooms that can help to get you started in the proper foraging of edible wild mushrooms.

Pockets guides are not meant to be a definite source and while not all inclusive, this is an excellent pocket guide for both beginners and experienced foragers to use when hunting edible wild mushrooms.

The Giveaway

A lucky reader will also win a free copy of The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms direct from the publisher. Just leave a comment about your experience (or lack of) in foraging for mushrooms or other edible food items in the wild. If commenting anonymously,  please leave an identifier in your comment. A winner will be chosen at random from the comments left on this post. The winner will be announced in a separate post on July 31st.

Got pocket guide for wild mushrooms?

Staying above the water line!



Scott Erwin said...

I've always been too scared to forage for mushrooms. This would be great to have!

tweell said...

My grandmother loved the outdoors and often supplemented her salads and such with wild mushrooms.

I didn't have many chances to acquire her knowledge, but she did tell me her #1 rule of wild veggies: "If the critters aren't eating it, don't you eat it either!" That has been wisdom to live by, and especially with mushrooms.

Greg said...

I have foraged for mushrooms but have to to unsure to actually try them. Perhaps this book could put me over the edge.

Ed Vaisvilas said...

Puffballs and morels, those are the only two I know for sure that can be eaten safely after picking, although I recall a poisonous one which resembles the morel.
As for the puffballs, after picking I would clean, slice and dehydrate. Dried fungus keeps for a very long time, providing you keep it airtight.

Albert and Susie said...

I have NO experience in foraging for mushrooms or other edible food items in the wild. I absolutely LOVE mushrooms so it would be great to know which are edible. :)
Susie in northern NY

Unknown said...

I’ve been hunting morels with my grandfather and father and siblings since I was a kid. We love to dredge them in a little flour and pan fry them. That’s the only way I’ve ever cooked them though I’m sure they’d be great in a pasta sauce or some other more exotic application. I’ve never tried any other wild mushrooms although I know there are others here in Iowa. Puffballs, oyster mushrooms, and quite a few others. I guess I’ve never been adventurous enough to try any of those.

Josh Bryan said...

Hmm I see my name shows up as "unknown." I thought since I logged into google and used that to post it would show up as my name. I guess not.

Anonymous said...

I just won a book, Good Clean Food, it arrived today and I have just begun reading it, looks very interesting.

I love mushrooms, but please don't put me in the giveaway for this book.
Someone else's turn to win a book.

Unknown said...

I don't know if the members of Fungus kingdom are being avoided by vegans or vegetarians :) but they are the only non-animal good source of B vitamins, especially B12.If I am wrong, let me know I will be glad to know if there is a prominent plant based source of them. ;)

Unknown said...

I mean the mushrooms as part of Fungi, not molds of course :D

Josh Bryan said...

… they are the only non-animal good source of B vitamins, especially B12.

I was curious about this so I did a little reading. According to what I found, there are quite a few non-meat sources of vitamin B including potatoes, bananas, lentils, beans, whole grains, chili peppers, and several others. You’re correct though that vitamin B12 is a bit trickier. I found an article that cited an Australian study that concluded that mushrooms do indeed contain vitamin B12, but it referred specifically to RAW mushrooms. I think that might pose a bit of a problem when dealing with wild mushrooms because I certainly would want to eat them without first cooking them. And, at least where I’m from, the only wild mushrooms that anyone really hunts for that I know of are morels. Raw morels contain a toxin and should only be eaten after being cooked. The article mentions only raw mushrooms, and I read elsewhere that cooking mushrooms significantly reduces their vitamin content. I guess it’s best just to eat some meat and eggs.

riverwalker said...

Three of the most popular edible mushrooms--oyster, morel and chanterelles--are all found in areas throughout the state of Texas.

Many do contain vitamins such as B12 and vitamin C but as Josh stated in his comments it does require them to be eaten raw and uncooked (not the best way). Unfortunately, many food items lose their nutrients when cooked.


Carla Ackley said...

You also get B-12 from bacteria in soil, so you do get a little bit of it off of produce grown in a garden. Easiest souce is meat, seafood and taking vitamins.

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