Mushrooms have long been regarded all over the world as the most delectable and succulent of foods. Their peculiarly delicate flavor charmed the luxury-loving Roman aristocrats more than twenty centuries ago, as it charms all civilized folk today. But most of us do not realize that the mushrooms we buy at the grocery store, either fresh or in cans, represent only one of the many edible kinds and that countless others make equally delightful eating. For edible mushrooms are to be found every where — in front yards, on shade trees, in parks, fields, and forests.
All too often these evanescent plants are looked upon as strange, unearthly things, to be feared and avoided, if not trodden upon and destroyed. Yet many of these same mushrooms that spring up in such prodigal abundance are both savory and delicious, eagerly sought by the epicure but to be had by anyone for the mere fun of hunting and picking them. To those who do not know them the best are made to share the reputation of the worst, and all are grouped together under the darkly suggestive name of toadstools, malevolent things that smack of night and thunder and pouring rain, fit company for goblins and witches!
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