Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mushrooms and Toadstools from 1900

I was scanning in my most recent find today, a book on Mushrooms and Toadstools, first published in 1900 (the version I have is from 1902), and I kept stopping to laugh at the text. Apparently, this book was for both the student/botanist, but also for the everyday person who would want to know which mushrooms were edible. There's hundreds of descriptions from the author about his adventures trying out different mushrooms to see if they are poisonous.

Here's some fun ones:

G. Minimus, when found by the writer, was not tested because not found in condition.

Once, in the West Virginia mountains, 1882, I found a large patch of it...The outer part is tough and semi-glutinous but of pleasant texture. It has not a marked flavor, but makes a succulent dish.

And my favorite...

This description is given that the student may recognise one of our common plants, and eat it, if very hungry.

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