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 and 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 and Amanita Nightmares explores the ways that mushrooms have shaped societies all over the globe.
The Love, Lore, and Mystique of Mushrooms
by Greg A. Marley
Chelsea Green, 2010