Cover Image: How to Forage for Mushrooms without Dying

How to Forage for Mushrooms without Dying

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

As a biology teacher, what a great book! I love that it is easy to understand and accessible to someone who knows very little about fungi and biology. This would be a great field guide to use in an ecology lab studying mushrooms. This will make a great addition to my shelf!
Was this review helpful?
This is a beginner’s book full of tips on identifying edible and non-edible mushrooms.  The author includes many markers for identification and walks the reader through safe foraging.  Also included are tips on safe handling of any mushroom; there are comparisons to handling raw hamburger to make the point.

I found the entire book to be informative and humorous, making it easy to read (I actually read it in just over a day).  There is an introduction; then a listing of mushrooms for foraging with identification features, look alikes, preservation tips, and cooking tips.  I found all of this to be of value.  At the end there is a rogues gallery of mushrooms to avoid (and why).  The references after the text are of value as well.  Notably, the author helpfully recommends books of other authors in his text.

Before reading this book I found and identified a Maitake/Hen of the Woods growing on my family farm.  With the help of friends who are avid foragers, one being a retired college biology professor, I was able to positively identify it, cook it (and share it), and preserve what we couldn’t eat (it was BIG).  I wish I had had this book at the time.  I will buy this book when it is published! 

A big thank you to Storey Publishing, LLC, author Frank Hyman, and NetGalley for allowing me to read an eGalley of this book.  I did not receive anything for my review, and my opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
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
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!
Was this review helpful?
Review courtesy of Netgalley & Publisher's providing the ARC of this book. 

I grew up with my mom singing "Kill the toadstools," to the same tune as Elmer Fudd's "Kill the Wabbit." Mushrooms in the wild were for kicking over so wayward children didn't eat them, and only grocery store mushrooms could be consumed as food. This book is a good example of why that doesn't have to be the case -- although it does relatively confirm my mom wasn't entirely wrong either. We always kicked over white capped and gilled mushrooms, which are usually "sickeners" or killers, like the death cap. 

Now that I'm an adult though, I live not too far from one of the largest mushroom festivals in the country, and near a bunch of pennsylvania mushroom farms, and by god, I want to eat more mushrooms. Frank Hyman's book, How to Forage for Mushrooms without Dying is the perfect introduction to me doing that. I have general anxiety, but want to eat tasty fungus without accidentally killing myself. This book tells me how to do that. That's brilliant. And I really do appreciate how it's aimed at the novice -- Hyman chooses a list of distinctive, almost all edible, mushrooms that someone can hunt for and cook up. He doesn't overly emphasize traits that aren't easily recognizable, and the book is cleverly organized by "where is this mushroom found," rather than "name of the mushroom you don't know anything about yet." So if you do go hunting, you can just say to yourself "okay this mushroom is growing on a tree," and look at all the mushrooms in this category. Nifty. Hyman is also incredibly level, and recommends moderation and caution in totally sensible ways - only eat what you are certain you've identified, ask for the help of more experienced foragers, and cook a tiny bit and then sample first in case you're surprisingly allergic to the mushroom, or don't digest it well. 

My only complaint - a very small one - is I wished that he'd explained spore prints a little more in depth, because it seems like some people do them, and it's useful for more advanced identification of mushrooms. Otherwise, great mushroom book.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great guide for beginning mushroom enthusiasts and intrepid explorers! After explaining the basics of mushroom anatomy, identification, and preparation in a highly understandable way, this book beautifully showcases 20 varieties of safe mushrooms that can be easily identified by the burgeoning forager!
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely fantastic guide. Very interesting and in-depth field guide. I great deal of side information and stories are included. Some was more then I wanted to know as a novice my main focus is identifying mushrooms so I didn't care about some of the stories. However, an avid mushroom collector or anyone interested in the history of collecting in general will be thrilled by these extra tidbits.

In all I highly recommend the book and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fantastic, easy to read guide that will help you find delicious mushrooms that you can actually eat, and teach you how to identify the ones you can't.  

This book begins with the basics:  What is a mushroom? and takes you through everything you need to do about foraging for 29 common edible mushrooms.  It is a handy guide for foragers.

I received a free, temporary digital copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley.  However, I will buy a print copy of this one to take out foraging.

My opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a lot of fun to read.  I still do not feel 100% confident about going out and foraging for mushrooms, but reading this did help me learn to identify some and give me an interest in learning more about fungi and foraging.
Was this review helpful?
A helpful, approachable guide to harvesting wild mushrooms. Instead of organizing the book alphabetically by variety name, Hyman breaks it down by time of year, location, shape, etc. Plenty of pictures and diagrams to help, too. Plus tips on preserving, freezing, or powdering mushrooms for future use.
Was this review helpful?
Enjoyably written--the author states he hopes to be funny ad he is, as well as clear and practical. His description of common mushrooms has everything foragers would want--identification details ranging from color to texture of each part of the mushroom, what kind of trees it can be found on, what time of year it appears, and more. Of course he includes whether it's poisonous or edible and if there are any lookalike mushrooms and how to tell the difference. If a mushroom is  edible Hyman includes how it tastes and at least one way to prepare it. Photography is beautiful and makes identifying mushrooms even easier.
Was this review helpful?
I am a complete beginner interested in learning the art of foraging for mushrooms, as it were, without dying. Frank Hyman's book is fantastic and will be a treasure on the shelves of beginners and more experienced foragers alike. 

The book contains a wealth of information on mycology and the practical aspect of foraging, written in straightforward, easy to understand language, with a dash of humor that also makes reading the book pure fun. Hyman shows you exactly what to look for and where, and tells you how to avoid dying  - perhaps the most essential part of your foraging outing. 

I also loved the photos! These were beautiful to look at and helpful in identifying the fungi I've come across so many times on hikes and walks. They also make this book a great field guide - I would be confident in using it on a foraging expedition to help me visually match the mushrooms that are safe to forage. 

Very happy that I have a copy of this and will certainly be purchasing a hard copy to keep in my backpack.
Was this review helpful?
What a fantastic title! I know so many are afraid of mushrooms, but they are amazing little things and the more you learn the more exciting they become. This book opens the Pandora’s box and just makes you want to go out and hunt for some mushrooms!
Was this review helpful?
I have long been interested in foraging for mushrooms. The idea appeals – environmentally friendly wild farming? However, one thing has always prevented me from scooping up mushrooms I find out on my hikes; I don’t want to kill my family.

And that is where Frank Hyman’s How to Forage for Mushrooms Without Dying comes in. With slight humor, Hyman goes through all of the basics you need to begin foraging mushrooms and live to forage again, without overwhelming the reader. From basic mycology to tips on how to tell mushroom species apart to the importance of proper storage, this book will have you identifying and harvesting mushrooms in no time. If you are a fan of other Storey books, such as Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees or Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, this will fit right in with your collection.
Was this review helpful?
I did not read How to Forage for Mushrooms without Dying through an educator lens. 

How to Forage for Mushrooms without Dying by Frank Hyman was a fantastic book on this topic. The organization was easy to follow as was the information. The straightforward nature of the book in regards to what to look for, how to avoid dying, where to find mushrooms, and other tidibts is something that I appreciate greatly. The photography throughout this book was so well done. I could easily take this with me on a forage outing and be able to identify what I can and cannot eat and understand why. I will definitely be purchasing a copy of this for myself and a few friends.
Was this review helpful?
This must simply have one of the best titles going - foraging for mushrooms without dying!

I, like many people, want to be confident in discovering mushrooms that are edible and can be safely gathered. This book definitely holds your hand and gently guides you to find those treasures when out walking. 

Definitely a reference book for your shelf that you'll get plenty of use out of.
Was this review helpful?
I wish I had a physical copy to gift to my outdoor loving sister. REally cute, interesting read even for someone who is not outdoorsy themselves. Thanks to netgalleys and the publisher for sending this to me.
Was this review helpful?
I think it's a good enough starter book if you to read if you're interested in learning the basics of foraging for mushrooms. It's written in a way that people like me, who have no background on the plant sciences, could quickly grasp. There is also a whole chapter dedicated to safe and responsible foraging. All in all, reading this book is a fun and fascinating experience.
Was this review helpful?
I was very interested in this book because I have found several of the mushrooms on my land so I found the book 📖 to be extremely helpful. Thank you for the Advance Reader's Copy Storey Publishing. Mr. Frank Hyman because of your expertise at foraging mushrooms I've learned so very much.

I found out about 29 of the good edible mushrooms and I found two for sure on my land. The book also advised you of the xx the mushrooms you should stay clear of. The book also has plenty of resources on everything you need to know about mushrooms. I found this book very helpful and I give this book ***** stars ✨ because I found it very helpful. This book review is of my own opinion. I hope you decide to read it and get as much as I did from it.
Was this review helpful?
This book is fantastic! humorous and informative. I feel inspired to seek out a local foraging group. The pictures didn't look great on the kindle addition. I thought the layout on my computer was fantastic. I would buy as a gift or for myself.
Was this review helpful?
This is an excellent book on foraging for mushrooms!  It's written by a man that's licenced to sell forage and sell mushrooms in the United States.  I love how it's written in plain English, and has beautiful color pictures of the mushrooms that he's describing.  It's full of the history and facts about mushrooms.  It contains the dangers, medicinal uses, and use as food.  It's a great guide for beginner foragers!
Was this review helpful?