Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms

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An incredibly versatile cooking ingredient containing an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and possibly cancer-fighting properties, mushrooms are among the most expensive and sought-after foods on the planet. Yet when it comes to fungi, culinary uses are only the tip of the iceberg. Throughout history fungus has been prized for its diverse properties—medicinal, ecological, even recreational—and has spawned its own quirky subculture dedicated to exploring the weird biology and celebrating the unique role it plays on earth. In Mycophilia, accomplished food writer and cookbook author Eugenia Bone examines the role of fungi as exotic delicacy, curative, poison, and hallucinogen, and ultimately discovers that a greater understanding of fungi is key to facing many challenges of the 21st century.

Engrossing, surprising, and packed with up-to-date science and cultural exploration, Mycophilia is part narrative and part primer for foodies, science buffs, environmental advocates, and anyone interested in learning a lot about one of the least understood and most curious organisms in nature.
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About the author

Eugenia Bone is a nationally recognized journalist, food writer, and former president of the New York Mycological Society. She is the author of MicrobiaThe Kitchen Ecosystem, At Mesa’s Edge, Italian Family Dining, and Well Preserved. Her books have been nominated for a variety of awards, including a James Beard Award, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Gourmet, among others.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rodale Books
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Published on
Oct 25, 2011
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781609613242
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / Specific Ingredients / Natural Foods
Nature / Plants / Mushrooms
Nature / Reference
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Paradigm-shifting, The Kitchen Ecosystem will change how we think about food and cooking. Designed to to create and use ingredients that maximize flavor, these 400 recipes are derived from 40 common ingredients--from asparagus to fish to zucchini--used at each stage of its "life cycle": fresh, preserved, and in a main dish.

 Seasoned cooks know that the secret to great meals is this: the more you cook, the less you actually have to do to produce a delicious meal. The trick is to approach cooking as a continuum, where each meal draws on elements from a previous one and provides the building blocks for another. That synchronicity is a kitchen ecosystem. 

For the farmers market regular as well as a bulk shopper, for everyday home cooks and aspirational ones, a kitchen ecosystem starts with cooking the freshest in-season ingredients available, preserving some to use in future recipes, and harnessing leftover components for other dishes. In The Kitchen Ecosystem, Eugenia Bone spins multiple dishes from single ingredients: homemade ricotta stars in a pasta dish while the leftover whey is used to braise pork loin; marinated peppers are tossed with shrimp one night and another evening chicken thighs and breast simmer in that leftover marinade. The bones left from a roast chicken bear just enough stock to make stracciatella for two.  The small steps in creating “supporting ingredients” actually saves time when it comes to putting together dinner.

Delicious food is not only a matter exceptional recipes—although there are an abundance
of those here. Rather, it is a matter of approaching the kitchen as a system of connected foods. The Kitchen Ecosystem changes the paradigm of how we cook, and in doing so,  it may change everything about the way we eat today.
2011 Winner, International Association of Culinary Professionals Jane Grigson Award2011 Finalist, International Association of Culinary Professionals in the Culinary History categoryThroughout history, people have had a complex and confusing relationship with mushrooms. Are fungi food or medicine, beneficial decomposers or deadly "toadstools" ready to kill anyone foolhardy enough to eat them? In fact, there is truth in all these statements. In Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares, author Greg Marley reveals some of the wonders and mysteries of mushrooms, and our conflicting human reactions to them.

With tales from around the world, Marley, a seasoned mushroom expert, explains that some cultures are mycophilic (mushroom-loving), like those of Russia and Eastern Europe, while others are intensely mycophobic (mushroom-fearing), including, the US. He shares stories from China, Japan, and Korea-where mushrooms are interwoven into the fabric of daily life as food, medicine, fable, and folklore-and from Slavic countries where whole families leave villages and cities during rainy periods of the late summer and fall and traipse into the forests for mushroom-collecting excursions.

From the famous Amanita phalloides (aka "the Death Cap"), reputed killer of Emperor Claudius in the first century AD, to the beloved chanterelle (cantharellus cibarius) known by at least eighty-nine different common names in almost twenty-five languages, Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares explores the ways that mushrooms have shaped societies all over the globe.

This fascinating and fresh look at mushrooms-their natural history, their uses and abuses, their pleasures and dangers-is a splendid introduction to both fungi themselves and to our human fascination with them. From useful descriptions of the most foolproof edible species to revealing stories about hallucinogenic or poisonous, yet often beautiful, fungi, Marley's long and passionate experience will inform and inspire readers with the stories of these dark and mysterious denizens of our forest floor.

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