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Mushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1 Hardcover – 3 Sep 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (3 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747589321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747589327
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.6 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

He gives plenty of vital tips about identifying different species and how not to poison yourself. -- BBC Country File

It is by far the best book on recognising and eating wild mushrooms that has ever been written. -- British Wildlife

This new book on mushrooms is one of the best I have read. -- Highland News

About the Author

John Wright has been introducing nervous people to the world of mushroom hunting since 1994. He has accompanied Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on several mushroom hunts for the River Cottage TV series, and has become a regular lecturer and guide at River Cottage HQ.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 155 people found the following review helpful By John Fraser on 3 Sep 2007
Format: Hardcover
My wife had a mushroom epiphany last year when stood in the middle of a wood in the Chilterns surrounded by all sorts of Fungi: If we were able to tell which was deadly poisonous and which deliciously edible, we could pick away to our hearts content, dash home and make soups and pâtés and all sorts of mushroomy things for weeks to come! As it was, we didn't know a toadstall from a chanterelle and returned home empty-handed, but therein resolved to investigate what guidebooks were on offer. We were rather disappointed by the rather earnest, flatly-written books we found, often with rather dated illustrations or an absence of recipes (surely the point of cooking them is eating them!) and absolutely no sense of the fun and excitement that might be had foraging for your dinner of an autumn afternoon. So we never got around to it. But as this autumn approaches, we were reminded of the coming mushroom season by the Guardian's River Cottage Mushroom guide (bascially a little taster of the book itself) and immediately realised that the handbook was just what we were looking for. And so it arrived in the post full of lovely pictures, concise descriptions and brilliant recipes all bound together by John Wright's strangely humourous writing style (parts are actually laugh-out-loud funny.) We went out to Hampstead Heath yesterday and immediately found a good hoard with which which we made some fantastic mushroom tart. We're hoping it will become a regular jaunt over the coming months and it's all thanks to this great little book.
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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Richard Stevens on 7 Jan 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have long been interested in edible fungi, and have always wanted to eat what I have foraged. One thing stood in my way, would I die?
I bought a book on mushrooms, hurried home to read it, only to find out that it was far from reassuring. I have repeated this several times, each book raising more questions than it answered. There always seemed to be room for error, and after all, you don't want to make an error!
I finally bought John Wright's book, it is far and away the best and most thorough book I have read, and he does it in a pleasant and funny manner.
I have since picked and eaten some mushrooms, and am yet not dead! Hooray!
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Chris Of The OT on 2 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This River Cottage Handbook, `Mushrooms' by John Wright, is a genuinely funny and hugely informative guide to mushroom and toadstools with some useful cooking tips and recipes too. (Some are even simple enough to try!)

Although this is a River Cottage book it's not by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; he does write a short introduction which viewers of the series will recognise as an account from one of the River Cottage shows. Fortunately, John Wright is a worthy (and appropriate) River Cottage author.

The book is divided into five sections:

Starting Out (p8-39)
Edible Species (p40-135)
Poisonous Species (p136-179)
Recipes (p180-245)
The End - comprising: index, useful addresses, etc. (p246-256)

`Starting Out' briefly addresses such things as mushroom collection, conservation, identification methods, glossary, etc. and includes the obligatory `key'. While Wright's key is about 10 pages, he notes `... it is not as daunting as many others - I have one that is nearly 500 pages long', it is still nearly impossible to use for extreme fungi novices like my wife and I. Still, it seems to be a necessary evil as fungi identification is supremely difficult.

As noted in other reviews, Wright's approach has been to identify just the edible and poisonous species so if the specimen you have is not one of the hundred or so here, don't eat it! This, of course, means that when you go out looking you will see lots that you can't identify. (Indeed (as extreme novices), we could only indentify about 10% of what we saw from this book.)

So this book is small enough to take out on a forage but can't cover most fungi species. However, it is easily good enough and entertaining enough to read cover-to-cover, unlike most others. While it'll make you laugh every now and then, it'll also teach you masses about mushrooms and toadstools. We love it.
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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Hayman on 11 Sep 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was attracted by the cover of this handy sized guide to mushrooms and was even more impressed by the content. It has inspired me to overcome my fear of making a fatal error and try mushroom hunting. The photographs alone are wonderful. The text is informative, amusing(definately lol!) and full of fascinating historical, medical and fungal facts. The detailed descriptions of individual species make me feel quite confident about identification and the selection of tempting-sounding recipes which follow add to the appeal of this useful and attractive book.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By SJ Kelly on 9 Oct 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a brilliant little handbook.

My wife and I take regular country walks and on the most recent I came across what I believed to be ceps. With this little book I was able to clearly identify the said mushroom and harvest same. We ate them for dinner, tossed in a little butter with crushed garlic on toast.

Yesterday we came home with a small basket from which we made the most delicious mushroom soup, following the recipe on page 204.

The River Cottage Handbook has given me the inspiration and knowledge to collect fungi.

Buy it, carry it in your coat pocket or glove compartment and harvest nature's riches.
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