Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms

Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms

by Eugenia Bone


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609619879
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 02/26/2013
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 236,233
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Eugenia Bone is a nationally recognized journalist, food writer, and former president of the New York Mycological Society. She is the author of Microbia, The Kitchen Ecosystem, At Mesa’s Edge, Italian Family Dining, and Well Preserved. Her books have been nominated for a variety of awards, including a James Beard Award, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Gourmet, among others.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Excerpted from "Mycophilia"
by .
Copyright © 2011 Eugenia Bone.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
constructivedisorder More than 1 year ago
The book is full of fascinating information, and once started is surprisingly difficult to put down. Eugenia Bone's writing is delicious - relaxed, pleasing and intelligent - and the book is rich with the flavor of mushrooms, mycologists and her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author's lively, often humorous style makes the story of her search for mushrooms, packed with detailed information of fungi and the subculture of people who love them, fascinating and fun to read.
PennyMck on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A fascinating, very readable look at mushrooms in all their forms - from edible to medicinal to mycoremediation to evolution.
cameling on LibraryThing 10 months ago
When I started this book, I was vaguely interested in mushrooms. I've always liked mushrooms from the culinary end, and I've taken photographs of mushrooms during hikes. But apart from that, I've never really given them a great deal of thought.But this book has raised not my just consciousness into the wonderful world of mushrooms, but my level of interest as well. Who knew that mushrooms share about 80% of the same RNA as humans do? I certainly didn't. Or that the chiten that coats mushrooms so that they can push out of the ground without bruising themselves is the same thing that's found in crab shells and squid beaks? Or that mushrooms have more in common with the animal kingdom than the plant kingdom? I now know that there are mushroom conferences and mushroom hunting festivals around the world should I ever feel the urge to don a pair of wellingtons and root around animal dung or forest floors with company.Apart from providing an indepth look at different mushrooms, both wild and farmed, their reproductive habits, their preferred habitats and how to hunt for them, I now know the symptoms of mushroom poisoning. I like the advice shared in the book about mushroom hunting ... just stand and take in the view. Especially in today's busy world, when we're all trying to multitask, just standing still, being quiet and letting our eyes take in the bounties of Mother Nature before us, is a task worth cultivating, and one that is bound to bring us a few moments of inner peace ... until we spy that one shy mushroom to leap upon! If there's only one thing I'm taking away from this book alone, it's that I'm no longer going to be wasting my money buying expensive bottles of truffle oil. Want to know what? Read the book!
Tod_Christianson on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is written by a journalist who became infatuated with mushrooms. The book is well paced, well researched and lively. The author does not skimp on technical detail but mixes in lots of human interest and interesting personalities. An excellent survey of Mycology, the psychology of the mycophile, the sociology of mycophiles and the economics of fungi.
RandyStafford on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I don¿t know how she is as a food writer, but, as a popular science writer, Eugenia Bone is pretty good.To be honest, I had a little trepidation that this book would be filled with rhapsodies on the culinary qualities of various mushrooms and a lot of recipes.While the stomach of Bone led her into the woods to look for mushrooms, we don¿t get any specific recipes. And, by the end of the book, she¿s taken us on a chatty, gossipy, personal trip not just into the world of mushrooms but the larger kingdom of fungi.We go on mushroom journeys and to mushroom festivals and scientific conferences and trade organizations. Bone tags the five groups of mushroom enthusiasts as conspiracy theorists (here, oddly, a mostly Canadian group), Masters of the Forests (guys and gals who like hanging out in the woods and nature as a whole), World¿s Leading Experts, Off the Gridders, and Belly Feeders. Some hunt for food. Some are migrant harvesters of mushrooms. Some are involved in mushroom farming ¿ mostly of white button mushrooms ¿ while others hope to crack the tough problem of commercially growing truffles.But fungi as food is just the beginning of modern economic interest in the fungi kingdom. Some are promoting the potential of mushrooms as a ¿superfood¿ or as medicines. I think Bone walks the right line between being skeptical of these claims ¿ you have to eat a lot of mushrooms to get any particular benefit (outside of hallucinogenics) and just because something is a part of traditional Chinese medicine (the ¿discipline¿ that thinks rhino horns are nature¿s Viagra) doesn¿t mean it has any value -- and noting that many drugs have come from fungi and that fungi may turn out to be a good future source of Vitamin D for vegans. Then there is the promise of using fungi to clean up sites polluted with any number of substances that contain carbon. But, because she has done such a good job explaining the biology ¿ what¿s known of it ¿ before that point of the story, we can already anticipate some of the technical and scientific problems of realizing that potential. Her explanations of the symbiotic, mutualistic, and parasitic roles fungi play is clear and interesting. And, while the black and white photos don¿t add much to the book (many are kind of murky), the book is very well sourced so the reader can pick up any of several threaded ideas to pursue on their own. That includes the role fungi play in various diseases ¿ including the dropping off of limbs via ergot poisoning.And, speaking of ergot poisoning and its sometimes attendant hallucinations, Bone does have a chapter on magic mushrooms and their possible place in human social evolution. It¿s capped off by her munching some psilocybin bearing mushrooms. Psilocybin is a chemical relative of LSD, but Bone¿s trip is void of hallucinations but does give her at least one of those useful personal insights that those advocating LSD and psilocybin as therapeutic chemicals cite.While I liked the science aspect, Bone also give enough time to some of the celebrities in the mycophiliac world and -- a bit of a travelogue when she goes places like Telluride or the Breitenbush Retreat in Oregon -- to probably please those whose interest may center on other aspects of the mushroom world.