Among the most primitive of organisms, mushrooms occur almost everywhere on earth; yet only a few of them are edible, and some are downright toxic. As Bone points out, there are fewer deaths annually from mushrooms than from shark bites. Despite the dangers, mushrooms offer a spectrum of valuable nutrients. Deeply fascinated by all sorts of fungi, Bone sets out across the country to link up with fellow mushroom hunters.
She hunts in Midwest forests for the springtime appearance of the morel, trooping through the underbrush with armies of equally obsessed foragers. She checks out the nation's first truffle farms, admiring the patient fortitude of growers struggling to farm commercially a most elusive fungus prized for its inimitable aroma and intense flavor. Only now are nutritionists unlocking some mushrooms' heretofore hidden health benefits, but the counterculture has always revered some species' psychedelic characteristics. Bone excels at revealing her many interviewees' unique personalities.
"Mycophilia"is the most engrossing, readable book about mushrooms and the science of mycology I have ever read. This is THE book to give to people interested in mushrooms, whether they are beginners, longtime mushroom hunters, or professional mycologists."
- Gary Lincoff, author of The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms
"Engaging trawl through the labryinths of mycophilia...lyrical and precise...Ms. Bone ends her odyssey elegantly, discovering mushrooms may be the most important – and most hopeful – ingredient of life on Earth."
- Wall Street Journal
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Eugenia Bone is an author and a food writer who has been featured in numerous national publications. She writes a blog on preserving foods for the Denver Post and lives in New York City.