Thus far, I’ve mostly concentrated my “book of the week” posts on gardening texts.
Today I’ll share instead one of my absolute favorite mushroom foraging books: All That the Rain Promises and More…
I mean, look at that cover! Can’t you tell he’s my kind of guy?
David Arora’s book Mushrooms Demystified is a definitive classic on mushrooms and I own that one too and highly recommend it as well.
Thanks in large part to Arora’s writing, I lost some of my fear of mushrooms and took my first baby steps into foraging a few years ago. I harvested and ate chanterelles, boletes, puffballs and “old man of the woods” mushrooms I found in my old North Florida neighborhood – and they were great! I still stay clear of gilled mushrooms, because I’m a chicken and fear making a mistake, but the others I no longer fear.
All That the Rain Promises and More, despite being a “guide to Western mushrooms,” still contains many species found across North America and beyond. Mushroom spores spread by wind all around the world and they grow where they please.
I love this guy’s writing and humor. He’s both funny and highly knowledgeable… and this book is a great one to leave on your coffee table for visitors to peruse as they wonder at your brilliant and eclectic taste in books.
As one reviewer on Amazon writes:
“This year I suddenly realized how cool mushrooms are! (Or I’m just getting old.) For the past few months, in addition to scouring EVERYWHERE within a 3 mile radius of my West Seattle home, I’ve spent countless hours (days) searching Google for identification help, which I’m sure you know causes more harm than good at times.
I ordered this along with the Audobon Field Guide and they both arrived yesterday. Within minutes of opening this book, I identified 3 of the mushrooms sitting on my kitchen counter that I’d just spent half the day trying to figure out online! Pictures are great because they’re color-accurate and show the angles I need, it’s organized in a way that’s meaningful to me as a beginner, and the descriptions gave me long-overdue insight into concepts I’ve struggled with such as taxonomy, toxicity effects, and how to tell the difference between an edible delight vs. a gut-wrenching nightmare. He even includes ridiculously simple recipes. Most importantly, as a mushroom noob, his non-condescending, light-hearted humor, and intuitive writing style gave me the confidence to feel like I can actually do this.“
A must-have for beginners and experts.
Get a copy here and you’ll help support this site.
I also own and use the Audubon Field Guide to Mushrooms, which has great photos.
You can also check out my list of the best mushroom foraging books here.
Own the book already. A goodie no doubt. I also share your respect for mushrooms, and thus eat very few.
Though it is easy to tell what lactarius is, for they ooze when broken. Much like boletes, stupid-proof rules can he made with those. I believe it goes: if it’s not bitter, spicy or red it is edible. But it has been a while since I’ve had the luxury to go mushroom hunting regularly.
That’s try – the Lactarius are easy to nail down. The only one I’ve eaten is Lactarius indigo, though. And yeah – stupid proof is my kind of mushroom hunting.
Gardening in Florida, great to find pertinent information!