Mushroom Gastronomy: The Art of Cooking with Mushrooms

Gibbs Smith. Jun. 2024. 240p. ISBN 9781423664970. $35. COOKING
In the food world, mushrooms are a polarizing ingredient. With her debut cookbook, Towns, a recipe developer, certified forager, mushroom consultant, and culinary editor of FUNGI Magazine, hopes to recruit more cooks to team mushroom. Beginning with mushroom pantry staples, an overview of cooking and preserving methods, and clarification on the difference between foraged and cultivated fungi, Towns goes on to explore 25 of the most popular mushrooms currently available to cooks—from U.S. grocery store staples like button and cremini to the more unusual matsutake and reishi. Arranged alphabetically by common name, each mushroom gets its own section, in which Towns covers nutritional values, selection and storage, cooking methods, and culinary uses, plus ideal flavor pairings. A select number of recipes, ranging from a Spanish take on the classic green bean–and–mushroom casserole, English peas with chanterelles and shallots, and a matsutake gin fizz, highlight the featured mushrooms. Especially notable are the gallery-worthy photographs sprinkled throughout the book.
VERDICT Fungi fanciers new and old have an excellent guide to the wonderful world of mushroom cookery.
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