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Mushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1 [Hardcover]

John Wright
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Sep 2007 River Cottage Handbook (Book 1)
In the first of an exciting new River Cottage Handbook series, mycologist John Wright explains the ins and outs of collecting, including relevant UK laws, conservation notes, practical tips and identification techniques. He takes us through the 72 species we are most likely to come across during forays in Britain's forests and clearings: old friends the Chanterelle and Cep, as well as a whole colourful host of more unfamiliar names - edible species including the Velvet Shank, the Horn of Plenty, the Amethyst Deceiver, the Giant Puffball and the Chicken in the Woods, and poisonous types such as the Sickener, the Death Cap and the Destroying Angel. The handbook is completed by more than 30 simple and delicious mushroom recipes from the River Cottage team. With colour photographs throughout, line drawings, a user-friendly Key and an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, The River Cottage Mushroom Handbook is a comprehensive and collectable guide, destined to be an indispensable household reference.

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Mushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1 + Hedgerow (River Cottage Handbook, No.7) + Edible Seashore: River Cottage Handbook No.5
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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: 19.8 x 13 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
152 of 154 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hunting we will go... 3 Sep 2007
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 ptés 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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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only mushroom book! 7 Jan 2008
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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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating fungi. 11 Sep 2007
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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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sheer delight - though necessarily brief 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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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hunt begins! 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
There are better and more easier to understand out there
Published 10 days ago by russell holt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a great book and very useful
Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great thanks.
Great thanks.
Published 1 month ago by Jayne McKeown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read - great book
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars great
gives me all the info I need and adds to my collection of mushroom books. Clear and easy to read
Published 4 months ago by jb
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable and informative
This is a must for the collection of books in the series. Wittily written but with a serious content, as any foraging book should have. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Steve Law
5.0 out of 5 stars Mushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1
My Grandson decided he wanted to know more about mushrooms so added this book to his Xmas list. I understand he was pleased with it.
Published 7 months ago by Fraser Bear
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well set out, and funny too!
Very well set out, and funny too!
Glad I bought this book, has been very educational and enjoyable to read.
Published 8 months ago by MRS CAROL CHRISTINE JOHN
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Started me on an obsession and had me rooting around the countryside this autumn. Lovely bit of humour that had me laughing out loud when reading it.... the ink caps!
Published 8 months ago by Simon Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Foraging for your own food
I found this book very informative, as I have the other river cottage book's. It explaines in a clear way how tell the differences between one mushroom and another, where they... Read more
Published 9 months ago by D Hill
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