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Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms Paperback – September 9, 2010
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Greg Marley's book "Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms" continues that guided tour of the mushroom world with a 6-part discussion:
Part I. Mushrooms and Culture
Part II. Mushrooms as Food
Part III. Dangerously Toxic, Deadly Interesting
Part IV. Mushrooms and the Mind: The Origin of Religion and the Pathway to Enlightment
Part V. Mushrooms within Living Ecosystems
Part VI. Tools for a New World
Each part is chock-full of good tidbits, introducing each type with its common name, its genus, and its species. What follows is great fun: other than the author's history with each mushroom, he offers songs, proverbs, and poetry that reference the great mushroom.
For those who love this fungi, it's a great book to add to your collection. For those just getting acquainted, this is a good book to start with. The photographs detailing each mushroom are vivid and clear. The endnotes give you a bit of further reading, and the index is invaluable. You can look up your mushroom by any of its names, nicknames, or even recipes.
Clearly the author is an expert in things mycological, but his technical descriptions of specific mushrooms can be difficult for beginners to follow. For example (p. 38): "Morels are saprobes, using as their food source leaf duff and wood in the soil. They have also been shown to form symbiotic, mycorrhizal associations with various tree species during parts of their life cycle. Their mycelia colonize broad areas, and often the fruiting body appears far from the original site of inoculation or obvious food source." Such information--undoubtedly of interest to experienced mushroom collectors--seems out of place in a book that isn't intended as a field guide. However, happily for the mycological novice, most of the stories that comprise the bulk of the text are far, far easier to read.
One fact that particularly caught my attention, is that some mushrooms (e.g., morels) can be mildly poisonous if not cooked before ingestion. CHANTERELLE DREAMS includes various mushroom recipes, a lot of good advice on how to get started with collecting mushrooms (e.g., start by joining a local mushroom club), instructions for growing your own mushrooms, a bibliography of recommended and supplemental reading, and an eight-page section of beautiful full-color photographs of selected mushrooms.Read more ›
Foraged wild foods these days have risen from curious oddity to standard ingredients on many epicureans' cutting boards. And to those epicureans, few wild foods can outshine mushrooms. For most serious gastronomes reading this, wild edible mushrooms are more than likely an enticing ingredient, but of all the palatable species (most "edible" mushrooms, of course, simply aren't worth the trouble of bringing home because of their poor taste or texture), most mushroom hunters will stick to just a few of the more reliably recognized ones. If this describes you, Greg Marley's new book Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares is for you. Marley is an indefatigable fixture among the mycophiles of New England (he has made Maine his home since 1981). He routinely lectures on the topics of wild mushrooms and medicinal plants and fungi, leads mushrooms forays, and writes prolifically.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting book detailing some history and fun facts about the fascinating world of mushrooms and their kin. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Patrick Scanlon
Before I get into this review, if you have no interest in mushrooms-- that is, identifying, foraging or even some history of mushrooms-- then please skip this review! Read morePublished 17 months ago by John Cabral
I am just head-over-heels for this book. As an avid mushroom hunter and amateur mycologist, I could not be more excited over the fantastic variety of short essays included here --... Read morePublished 18 months ago by snanna
Fast shipping, book in perfect condition.
I don't know anything about gathering wild mushrooms but this was a requested gift so I am sure it will be well received.
I have enjoyed mushrooms for as long as I can remember, and was fascinated to learn more about them when I first moved here to Pennsylvania, not far from Kennett Square ("the... Read morePublished on February 26, 2013 by Robert L. Rose