A fungus lover’s foray into foraging

Interest in foraging for wild food is on the rise, and magnificent mushrooms are very much on the menu. But if you’re gathering your own, you’ve got to get it right. From the right knowledge and equipment, to following a foragers’ Code of Practice.
With fungi being incredibly diverse, delicious (and sometimes deadly) a new book from CSIRO Publishing – Wild Mushrooming: A Guide for Foragers – delivers expert advice on best ways to go about finding, identifying and collecting the right mushrooms … as well as a mouth-watering selection of recipes to enjoy too.
The book is co-authored by leading experts Alison Pouliot and Tom May and has been a collaborative project five years in the making. It includes sections on where, when and how to find fungi and guides the forager in the identification of a selection of edible species.
“We advocate what we describe as a ‘slow mushrooming’ approach,” note the authors.
“We encourage foragers to learn a few species thoroughly, rather than many superficially. This means slowing down, taking your time and being an astute observer of both fungi and their surrounds.”
This extensively illustrated guide melds scientific and cultural knowledge, equipping the reader with the knowledge to find the right mushrooms while encouraging ‘ecological foraging’ to minimise environmental harm.
Checklists of features for both edible and toxic species enable the reader to differentiate the desirable from the deadly.
Hints on where, when and how to find fungi enhance the reader’s ability to recognise targeted species.
Armed with the right knowledge, there are many rewards to savour and the book includes a large section of recipes. From omelettes to pies, and curries to risotto and pasta, you’ll be enticed by 29 mouth-watering recipes that can be adapted for both foraged and cultivated fungi.
With spectacular images and extensively researched information Wild Mushrooming: A Guide for Foragers will help readers find, identify, collect, and prepare sought-after edible fungus species using a ‘slow mushrooming’ approach.
Available from all good bookstores.
Alison is giving a free seminar on Slow Mushrooming on Thursday March 18, from 6pm to 7.30pm at the Creswick Neighbourhood Centre.
The seminar is free to attend but bookings are essential. Visit: alisonpouliot.com/slow-mushrooming-s