In the tradition of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, and Mark Kurlansky’s Cod - a renowned culinary adventurer goes into the woods with the iconoclasts and outlaws who seek the world’s most coveted ingredient...and one of nature’s last truly wild foods: the uncultivated, uncontrollable mushroom.
Within the dark corners of America’s forests grow culinary treasures. Chefs pay top dollar to showcase these elusive and beguiling ingredients on their menus. Whether dressing up a filet mignon with smoky morels or shaving luxurious white truffles over pasta, the most elegant restaurants across the country now feature an abundance of wild mushrooms.
The mushroom hunters, by contrast, are a rough lot. They live in the wilderness and move with the seasons. Motivated by Gold Rush desires, they haul improbable quantities of fungi from the woods for cash. Langdon Cook embeds himself in this shadowy subculture, reporting from both rural fringes and big-city eateries with the flair of a novelist, uncovering along the way what might be the last gasp of frontier-style capitalism.
Meet Doug, an ex-logger and crabber - now an itinerant mushroom picker trying to pay his bills and stay out of trouble; and Jeremy, a former cook turned wild food entrepreneur, crisscrossing the continent to build a business amid cutthroat competition; their friend Matt, an up-and-coming chef whose kitchen alchemy is turning heads; and the woman who inspires them all.
Rich with the science and lore of edible fungi - from seductive chanterelles to exotic porcini - The Mushroom Hunters is equal parts gonzo travelogue and culinary history lesson, a rollicking, character-driven tour through a world that is by turns secretive, dangerous, and tragically American.
©2013 Langdon Cook (P)2013 Audible Inc.
This book is full of mini adventures as the author meets all sorts of unusual people in search of mushrooms. Every stitch of the book is interesting and colorful. A wonderful read!
I'd only recently taken up mushrooming. Meant to learn about mushrooms for years, and finally joined the Connecticut Valley Mycological Society. I'm a nature freak, always have been, but I didn't know much about fungus until I got involved with the club. The east coast is not the mushroom mecca that the west coast is, but you can still find almost all of the species covered in the book, if not in such astonishing abundance (less so with the droughts that are hurting us all where ever we are).
I've had a taste of the way your heart pounds when you find a flush of chanterelles or trumpets, sprinted under the canopy to pounce on a king bolete (as if it could run away). So to listen to the buzz of finding hundreds of them, oh my!
This was the right book at the right time for me.
When the author gets lost trying to navigate through the fallen trees on a burn site.
He sounded like the kind of guy you'd go mushrooming with.
It made me hungry for MUSHROOMS.
I actually listened to this while I was out in the woods looking for mushrooms. Found a nice big flush of Hydnum repandum with my earbuds in!
I won't be quitting my job to forage for wild foods, but this book tells an interesting story about a slice of society that lives life in a way that is very different from most of us. The characters in this book are real people and are fascinating.
I never thought a book about mushrooms would be so riveting! Cook does a great job of bringing you inside the underground world of mushroom picking.
I have been wanting to mushroom hunt for quite some time. This book had great stories and made me want to hunt even more.
Not sure. This one is unique. I wish Fat of the Land by the same author was on Audible
The Book Doctor
I was riveted at first by this book, but by halfway through, the stories seemed to blend together. The reader was good and engaging, but the minutiae of the species of mushrooms had me drifting away from the book at points. The people were the most interesting and I can honestly say I will never take wild mushrooms for granted again when I see them in the farmer's market or in restaurants.
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