Foraging for wild mushrooms can be pretty intimidating – and for good reason! A wrong ID can make you sick or even be lethal. It's wise to forage with an experienced local mycophile until you are confident enough to identify mushrooms yourself. As you're learning, these books can help you expand your knowledge. Happy shroomin'!
1. Mushrooming without Fear: The Beginner's Guide to Collecting Safe and Delicious Mushrooms
If you're new to foraging, Mushrooming without Fear is a great starting point. The author's eight rules of mushrooming will teach you how to safely gather a bountiful wild harvest. Its focus on the tastiest, least dangerous mushrooms makes it a practical shorthand guide that will get you into the field the second you're done reading.
2. Mushrooms Demystified
For a deeper dive into the world of mushrooming, Mushrooms Demystified should be at the top of your list. With detailed information and photos on over 2,000 varieties of fungus, this book is an engrossing read for beginners and seasoned foragers alike.
3. The Complete Mushroom Hunter, Revised
The Complete Mushroom Hunter is a great choice for those who aren't total beginners but don't need or desire the level of detail provided in Mushrooms Demystified. The full-color photos, enjoyable mushroom folklore, and entertaining personal anecdotes from the author's years of mushrooming make it a fun read for all.
4. The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms
Many mushroom guides are too bulky to realistically carry into the field. The gold standard of field guides, The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, is here to save the day. Its sturdy binding and compact size make it the perfect companion for a trip into fields and forests.
5. Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, and Other Regional Timber Press Field Guides
Foraging is an intimate and localized activity, and it can be helpful to have information pertinent to your specific circumstances. If you want a more focused, less generalized approach to mushrooming, the regional Timber Press Field Guides are an excellent choice.