10 Best Mushroom Books for Beginners

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Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about the best mushroom books for beginners helpful.


Like all places, when hunting for mushrooms in the high country of Colorado it’s important to correctly identify each and every mushroom before you eat it. These books are ideal for helping the novice forager identify edible mushrooms and gain experience and confidence. Ideal for yourself or to give as a gift to your favorite mushroom hunter.

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See Also: Best Tools for Mushrooming


Best Mushroom Books for Beginners


National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms

 

The most comprehensive field guide available for North American mushrooms–a must-have for any enthusiast’s day pack or home library. It is the essential, go-to reference source for over 18 million nature lovers.

Features a durable vinyl binding and over 700 full-color identification photographs organized visually by color and shape. A perfect companion for any mushroom foraging expedition.

  • Each species is accompanied by a detailed physical description, information on edibility, season, habitat, range, lookalikes, alternative names, and facts on edible and poisonous species, uses, and folklore.
  • There is also a supplementary section on cooking and eating wild mushrooms, and illustrations identifying the parts of a mushroom, round out this essential guide.

by The National Audubon Society

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Mushrooming without Fear: The Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms

 

 

This unique guide is invaluable to novice and beginner mushroom foragers. Unlike others, it focuses only on types that are both edible and delicious. In addition, it presents the eight rules of mushroom gathering in a straight forward fashion. Some of the many mushrooms covered are the cep; the red-cracked, larch, bay, and birch boletes; hen of the woods, chanterelle, trumpet chanterelle, hedgehog fungus, common puffball, horn of plenty, and cauliflower mushroom.

  • Each is identified with several color photographs and identification checklist, and includes information on mushroom season, handling, storage, and cooking, complete with delicious recipes.

by Alexander Schwab

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Peterson Field Guide to Mushrooms

 

This is one of the easiest field guides for mushroom identification and includes more that 1,000 species described in detail. Enjoy more that 700 paintings and drawings with subtle field marks to illustrate important distinctive features.

This portable-sized field guide covers most of the common edible and poisonous species readers are likely to encounter.  It takes a new, simple approach to mushroom identification based on key features that do not require a microscope or technical vocabulary. Furthermore, the book groups similar mushrooms on the same page so you needn’t flip between pages to identify a certain mushroom.

  • The book is filled with watercolors and hundreds of illustrations of each species. It is an ideal tool for beginner and intermediate mycologists alike.

by Kent H. McKnight and Vera B. McKnight

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The Essential Guide to Rocky Mountain Mushrooms by Habitat

 

If you’re hunting specifically in Colorado or the Rocky Mountain region then this is the guidebook for you. The Essential Guide to Rocky Mountain Mushrooms by Habitat is the definitive authority for uncovering post-rain rarities and delicious, edible favorites alike. Gorgeous full-color photos highlight the beauty of hundreds of species. Easy-to-navigate entries offer detailed descriptions and tips for identifying mushrooms, including each species’ edibility, odor, taste, and rumored medicinal properties.

  • The book organizes the mushrooms according to habitat zone, placing each species among surrounding flora and fauna that the mushrooms generally interact with.

by Cathy Cripps, Vera Evenson and Michael Kuo

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Wild Mushrooms: A Cookbook and Foraging Guide

This knowledgeable husband and wife team have created a beautiful book with absolutely everything you need to know to make mushrooming a lifestyle choice, from finding, storing and preserving, to cooking with common and unusual species.

Packed with content and lore from more that 20 skilled foragers around the country, it also includes practical information on transporting, cleaning, and preserving their finds.

  • Learn the best ways to locate, clean, collect, and preserve mushrooms as well as safety, edibility, preservation techniques, mushroom sections, flavor profiles and more.
  • Recipes are categorized by mushroom species, with 115 delicious recipes in all. It is also a wonderful reference for pickling to rich soups, salads, teas, tinctures, jams, and ice cream.
  • These mushroom recipes and invaluable insider tips will delight everyone from the most discerning mycophiles to brand new fungus fanatics.

by Kristen and Trent Blizzard

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250 Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms

 

Enjoy over 2000 high-resolution photos, including 3 or more photos of each species. There are nearly 500 pages to this complete reference book. This unique field guide offers a simple approach and includes a difficulty factor from 1-10 for each species, a culinary factor from 1-5 (choice, good, mediocre, etc.), and describes “triggers” for the species that fruit when the temperature reaches a specific degree.

  • The book is set up with spring, summer, fall, and winter fruiting times, and splits each of those with  specific growing terrain. So you can just turn the page to the season you want and decide how you want to hunt.
  • In addition, it is straight to the point with easy-to-find identification even for novice foragers.

by Chris Matherly

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Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms

 

If you’d prefer to grow your own mushrooms, that look no further that to this detailed, comprehensive guide for growing and using gourmet and medicinal mushrooms commercially or at home.

Offers precise growth parameters for thirty-one mushroom species, this bible of mushroom cultivation includes gardening tips, state-of-the-art production techniques, realistic advice for laboratory and growing room construction, tasty mushroom recipes, and an invaluable troubleshooting guide.

  • More that 500 photographs, illustrations, and charts clearly identify each stage of cultivation, and a twenty-four-page color insert spotlights the intense beauty of various mushroom species. This indispensable handbook will get you started and help you succeed in growing mushrooms.

by Paul Stamets

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Fantastic Fungi: Expanding Consciousness, Alternative Healing, Environmental Impact

 

A beautiful book that is great for educators, and mushroom enthusiasts includes a collection of essays with gorgeous photography, time-lapse sequences of mushrooms blossoming and an overall cascading message that mushrooms and fungi will change your life– and save the planet.

Top luminaries show how fungi and mushrooms can restore the planet’s ecosystems, repair our physical health, and renew humanity’s symbiotic relationship with nature.

  • Most Comprehensive Fungi book in the world: Admire the astounding, underappreciated beauty with over 400 gloriously-shot photographs of the mycelial world’s most rare and beautiful species in their natural environment.
  • World’s Leading Fungi Experts: Edited by preeminent mycologist Paul Stamets, who contributes original pieces, Fungi includes original contributions by bestselling author and activist Michael Pollan, alternative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil, award-winning nature and food writer Eugenia Bone, Fantastic Fungi director Louie Schwartzberg, and so many more.

Contributing Authors: Eugenia Bone, Suzanne Simard, Roland Griffiths, Jay Harman, William Richards, Paul Stemets, Louie Schwartzberg

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The Ultimate Guide to Mushrooms: How to Identify and Gather Over 200 Species Throughout North America and Europe

This comprehensive field guide has everything you want to know about mushrooms. Offering information on a vast range of two hundred species, including all shapes and sizes and colors.
Includes detailed information such as scientific names, habitats, modes of development, botanical then, culinary uses and more.

  • Enjoy the hand-drawn illustrations, full-color photographs and recipes. Whether you want to identify mushrooms, study mushrooms, or use edible mushrooms in your recipes, The Ultimate Guide to Mushrooms is exactly what you have been searching for!

by Guillaume Eyssartier and Julien Norwood

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Mushrooms: How to Identify and Gather Wild Mushrooms and Other Fungi

Learn how to properly forage for (and avoid) hundreds of mushrooms, toadstools, and fungi with this beautifully illustrated guide. Allows you to identify over 450 species of fungi from all around the world. Clear, sharp photographs of each kind of mushroom and their cross-sections are accompanied with annotations and descriptions, along with scale illustrations and identification charts .

  • Understand the different anatomical sections and features of fungi, then categorize and identify your own foraging finds through extensive, but easy-to-use, visual ID guides.
  • Key information on habitat, fruiting, and which types of mushrooms are poisonous and which are edible. The ultimate companion for fungi enthusiasts, and ideal for amateurs and experts alike.

by D. Adult
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Comments

We hope you found this article about the best mushroom books for beginners helpful. How do you identify mushrooms? Do you go with a guide, a friend, a chef or on a foray with a mushroom club? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments, tips and stories regarding your experiences foraging mushrooms. Thanks for sharing and be safe hunting mushrooms, never eat a mushroom you aren’t sure of.



Related Articles: Where to Hunt Mushrooms in Vail, Colorado


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