Unusual shapes and colors make many mushrooms alluring to the eye, while the exotic flavors and textures of edible mushrooms are a gourmet delicacy for the palate. Yet many people never venture beyond the supermarket offerings, fearing that all other mushrooms are poisonous.
With amateur mushroom hunters especially in mind, David Fischer and Alan Bessette have prepared Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America. This field guide presents more than 100 species of the most delicious mushrooms, along with detailed information on how to find, gather, store, and prepare them for the table. More than 70 savory recipes, ranging from soups and salads to casseroles, canapes, quiches, and even a dessert, are included.
Throughout, the authors constantly emphasize the need for correct identification of species for safe eating. Each species is described in detailed, nontechnical language, accompanied by a list of key identifying characteristics that reliably rule out all but the target species. Superb color photographs also aid in identification. Poisonous "lookalikes" are described and illustrated, and the authors also assess the risks of allergic or idiosyncratic reactions to edible species and the possibilities of chemical or bacterial contamination.