Chanterelle Dreams and Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms

Overview

To the uninitiated, finding and eating wild mushrooms can be a little scary, but also a fun and delicious experience. Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares journeys through the often-unexamined kingdom of fungi, revealing the remarkable beauty, bounty, and complexity of wild mushrooms.

Greg Marley carries readers into European and Asian cultures where mycophilic (mushroom-loving) families routinely and passionately quest for edible mushrooms. He offers practical advice for ...

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Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms

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Overview

To the uninitiated, finding and eating wild mushrooms can be a little scary, but also a fun and delicious experience. Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares journeys through the often-unexamined kingdom of fungi, revealing the remarkable beauty, bounty, and complexity of wild mushrooms.

Greg Marley carries readers into European and Asian cultures where mycophilic (mushroom-loving) families routinely and passionately quest for edible mushrooms. He offers practical advice for those seeking to add wild mushrooms to their diet, including details on commonly eaten "foolproof" wild mushrooms. He unveils the ecology, habitats, and pleasures of better-known edibles and shares techniques (including recipes) for preparing them.

Marley also explores the risks of in-famous poisonous mushrooms, led by the "Death Cap," and explains how to avoid them. He also provides a broad historic and cultural look at hallucinogenic fungi, offering a glimpse of their promising future clinical uses.

Through thoughtful consideration of the world of fungi, Chanterelle Dreams invites readers to appreciate the myriad wonders of the humble mushroom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
By following a few basic guidelines, readers interested in foraging for their food will find themselves with a wealth of culinary opportunities courtesy of longtime amateur mycologist Marley (Mushrooms for Health). An enthusiastic guide, Marley introduces foragers to the most common wild edible shrooms – morels, puffballs, chicken mushrooms, and shaggy mane – as well as their more recognizable cousins in the market, such as chanterelles. Basic recipes for preparation (risottos, simple pastas, and the like) are included, enabling readers to get the most from their bounty. But Marley spends equal time with their more toxic and psychedelic brethren, describing key characteristics, common regions, and potential side effects, ensuring that initiates spend more time in the woods than the ER. While the book does have a set of color slides to aid in identification of edible and poisonous varieties, the sample pales in comparison to the many species Marley mentions. He's an enthused guide, though his tireless mushroom minutiae (trivia, history, taxonomy, and so on) and narrow focus on species native to the American northeast narrow the book's appeal. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly-

By following a few basic guidelines, readers interested in foraging for their food will find themselves with a wealth of culinary opportunities courtesy of longtime amateur mycologist Marley (Mushrooms for Health). An enthusiastic guide, Marley introduces foragers to the most common wild edible shrooms - morels, puffballs, chicken mushrooms, and shaggy mane - as well as their more recognizable cousins in the market, such as chanterelles. Basic recipes for preparation (risottos, simple pastas, and the like) are included, enabling readers to get the most from their bounty. But Marley spends equal time with their more toxic and psychedelic brethren, describing key characteristics, common regions, and potential side effects, ensuring that initiates spend more time in the woods than the ER. While the book does have a set of color slides to aid in identification of edible and poisonous varieties, the sample pales in comparison to the many species Marley mentions.

Booklist-

“Mushroom lovers who can only get their fix by sampling the often paltry array that appears in their grocers produce section may be sorely tempted to indulge their mycophilia when they encounter some choice fungi in the wild. Unlike many Asian and European cultures, however, most Americans are hesitant to just pluck one off the forest floor and eat it on the spot. Perhaps such evocative names as the Death Cap mushroom has something to do with this mycophobia. Yet, says Marley, armed with proper background, this culinary caution can turn into complete confidence. From the fabled psychedelic magic mushrooms to the duplicitous appearance of false morels, Marley examines these fungal fiends and provides thorough descriptions of their habitat, appearance, and toxic properties to ward off potential misadventures. An avowed mycophile, Marley offers an entertaining and inquisitive look at both the heroes and villains of the kingdom Fungi in an enlightened guide that comprehensively examines their nutritional benefits, undesirable properties, and diverse cultural history.”

This book is an enticing invitation into the fungal realm, accessible and a pleasure to read. Author Greg Marley's enthusiasm is infectious, as he encourages an appreciation of fungi as essential ecological partners, and empowers readers with practical tools. These pages are filled with foraging and cultivation tips, scientific explanations, ancient lore, literary references, and entertaining stories, with the mission of transforming mycophobia into mycophilia.—Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved

Carol Haggas
Booklist-

Mushroom lovers who can only get their fix by sampling the often paltry array that appears in their grocer’s produce section may be sorely tempted to indulge their mycophilia when they encounter some choice fungi in the wild. Unlike many Asian and European cultures, however, most Americans are hesitant to just pluck one off the forest floor and eat it on the spot. Perhaps such evocative names as the “Death Cap” mushroom has something to do with this mycophobia. Yet, says Marley, armed with proper background, this culinary caution can turn into complete confidence. From the fabled psychedelic “magic mushrooms” to the duplicitous appearance of “false morels,” Marley examines these fungal fiends and provides thorough descriptions of their habitat, appearance, and toxic properties to ward off potential misadventures. An avowed mycophile, Marley offers an entertaining and inquisitive look at both the heroes and villains of the kingdom Fungi in an enlightened guide that comprehensively examines their nutritional benefits, undesirable properties, and diverse cultural history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603582148
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/9/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 650,882
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Marley has a passion for mushrooms that dates to 1971, the year he left his native New Mexico and spent the summer in the verdant woods of central New York. Since then, he has become an avid student and teacher of mycology, as well as a mushroom identification consultant to the Northern New England Poison Control Center and owner of Mushrooms for Health, a company that provides education and products made with Maine medicinal mushrooms. Marley is the author of Mushrooms for Health: Medical Secrets of Northeastern Fungi and Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms. He lives and mushrooms in Rockland, Maine.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Tales from the Forest Floor ix

Part I Mushrooms and Culture

1 Passionate about Mushrooms: The Russian and Slavic Experience 3

2 Overcoming Distrust: Mushrooming in America 14

Part II Mushrooms as Food

Introduction: Leading with Our Stomachs 25

3 The Foolproof Four: Updated for a New Millennium 31

4 Chanterelles 60

5 Boletus edulis 72

6 The Agaricus Brothers 80

Part III Dangerously Toxic, Deadly Interesting

Introduction: Poisonous Mushrooms: Not as Bad as You Fear 91

7 Mushroom Poisoning: The Potential Risks and Ways to Avoid Them 94

8 Amanita Nightmares: The Death Cap and Destroying Angel 112

9 False Morels: The Finnish Fugu 122

10 A Fallen Angel 132

11 The Poison Pax: A Deadly Mystery 136

Part IV Mushrooms and the Mind: The Origin of Religion and the Pathway to Enlightenment

Introduction: Entheogens: A New Way to View Hallucinogenic Mushrooms 143

12 Amanita muscarica: Soma, religion, and Santa 148

13 Psilocybin: Gateway to the Soul or Just a Good High? 163

Part V Mushrooms within Living Ecosystems

14 Honey Mushrooms: The Race for the World's Largest Fungus 185

15 Fairy Rings and Fairy Tales? 192

16 Fungal Bioluminescence: Mushroom Nightlights 200

17 Who's Eating the Truffles? 207

18 Woodpeckers, Wood Decay Fungi, and Forest Health 217

Part VI Tools for a New World

19 Growing Mushrooms in the Garden: A How-to Story 227

Appendix of Recommended and Supplemental Reading 241

Endnotes 247

Index 257

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