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Picking Edible Wild Mushrooms: Tips and Book Recommendation

Charlie has worked with many top British chefs. He is also an experienced forager of wild mushrooms.

This wild mushroom is poisonous. Do not eat!

This wild mushroom is poisonous. Do not eat!

Wild Mushroom Hunting

If you have always fancied picking wild mushrooms but were never sure about where to pick them, or which types of wild mushrooms were safe, I was once the same. Now, however, I am a confident forager of wild mushrooms, and I even sell them to a local restaurant.

Edible wild mushrooms have so much more flavour than what you can buy at the shop. I started off by learning to identify a few at a time, and I also learnt from the start which were the really bad ones to stay away from.

I love being out in the countryside and picking free food! I still get excited when I find good edible mushrooms and fungi. You will know what I mean when you start.

As the saying goes, 'If in doubt, leave it out.'

If you're not sure, leave it, don't eat it.

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Read More From Delishably

Best Wild Mushroom Hunting Book for the UK

When hunting for edible wild mushrooms, it is important to be able to identify which ones are safe to eat and which ones are poisonous. If you eat a mushroom that is poisonous you could end up very sick or even risk death. This guide will help you identify which ones are safe and edible for picking also which ones to avoid. I have been picking wild mushrooms for many years, and Roger Phillips's book, simply entitled Mushrooms, is the one that I have found to be the most helpful.

Mushroom Hunting Equipment

  • Mushroom baskets are better than bags as they have holes in them that allow the mushroom spores (seeds, if you like) to drop through onto the ground as you walk, which will hopefully grow into new mushrooms for next year.
  • Wild mushroom knives are good because it is better to cut your mushrooms than to pick them, as it does not damage the mycelium (roots). A mushroom knife also has a brush on it to clean the muck off.
Wild chanterelle mushrooms

Wild chanterelle mushrooms

© 2013 Charlie Cheesman

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