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Preface to the Online Edition

One of the great benefits of the Internet is the ability to give second life to worthy but out--of--print books. Because printing costs are nil and the cost for production and distribution is very little, we can--with an author's kind permission--resurrect books that deserve a reading audience once more.

Wild About Mushrooms certainly deserves readers. Since its publication in 1987, it's been a valuable resource for mushroom cooks and mycophagists. It dares to venture beyond the timid aisles of the supermarket into the wild where we encounter mushrooms like the shaggy parasol, puffball, and fairy--ring mushroom--fungi that rarely make it into American restaurants, much less to our kitchen counters.

For those of us lucky enough to find and correctly identify these fungal treats, Wild About Mushrooms serves not only as a reference for how to clean, cook, and preserve them, but as a culinary guide to recipes that will bring out their varied flavors to full advantage. For those of us dreaming about finding mushrooms, or of a trip to a fully stocked specialty store, Wild About Mushrooms describes mushrooms in vigorous detail, tells us what to look for and how to determine quality, and points us to further resources for learning more.

Louise Freedman, the author, has been collecting and cooking mushrooms since at least 1968, when she joined the Mycological Society of San Francisco. She's been an active member of the MSSF's culinary group for years, and--with her husband Bill--was instrumental in establishing and organizing the MSSF's series of fungus fairs at the Coyote Point Museum south of San Francisco. Louise continues to cook and work with mushrooms, and brings her considerable sketching talents to bear at the MSSF's annual fungus fairs, at mushroom sketching workshops that she teaches, and in online illustrations for MykoWeb.

Although an online edition of a book avoids printing and production costs, it makes up for it in sweat equity. Somebody has to put in the work to restructure the contents for online display, format the text, scan the graphics, lay out HTML pages, add links, and test the end results. That someone in this case is Mike Wood, the webmaster for both MykoWeb and the MSSF's website. Teeda LoCodo, the illustrator, was kind enough to loan Mike her original drawings for maximum clarity. Once this edition made it online, proofreaders Jane Wardzinska, Debbie Viess, and David Rust worked through it to track down misspellings and errors.

The results of all this work is a mouse click away--please read and enjoy. Bon appetit!

--Mike Boom (20 February, 2000)