In our opinion, everyone should get involved in foraging. It is not only extremely enjoyable and satisfying, but it also helps you to reconnect with nature and you can find some genuinely delicious and nutritious foods that you'll struggle to find in most supermarkets. Here in the UK, we're spoilt for choice when it comes to foraging options. And luckily for you, there are lots of excellent books that can help to guide you through this slightly confusing and overwhelming practice. We've rounded up our favourites, let's get into it:
Edible Mushrooms: A Forager's Guide to the Wild Fungi of Britain, Ireland and Europe by Geoff Dann - best for finding fantastic fungi
If you're going to start foraging, then it's likely that a huge part of what you'll end up looking for and eating will involve mushrooms. The issue with wild mushrooms is that although many of them are safe to pick and consume, many of them aren't. This is why it's totally essential to get your hands on a guide like Edible Mushrooms: A Forager's Guide to the Wild Fungi of Britain, Ireland and Europe by Geoff Dann. This book was written by an expert in foraging and whose obsession with the practice started during his youth, but what we love about the book is that it's accessible to beginners and experts alike.
You can buy Geoff's book from Amazon here - amazon.co.uk
You can also buy his new book from Amazon here - amazon.co.uk
Seaweed Foraging in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by Rachel Lambert
If you live near the sea and you're into foraging then you're probably already aware how fruitful the seaside can be, but far too few people realise how amazing seaweed is. This book from foraging expert Rachel Lambert provides excellent insight into how to find useable seaweed along coastal areas in Europe, and then how to get the most out of your seaweed with delicious and interesting recipes. This book was a national winner at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2017 and despite being pocket-sized for convenience, it's packed with 32 step-by-step recipes.
To get your own copy of this great little book, head to Rachel's website here - wildwalks-southwest.co.uk
The Hedgerow Handbook: Recipes, Remedies and Rituals by Adele Nozedar.
This is a lovely little book by expert forager Adele Nozedar which is really accessible but is still packed with useful information. The 10th-anniversary edition of the book was recently released and it is clear that the book has remained popular since it was published. It's also packed with beautiful watercolour illustrations. I often cook with this alongside me and have made some delicious meals, so what we really love about this book is that it's not only very useful, it's also really pleasant just to flick through and admire the pictures.
If you'd like to get a copy of this great book for yourself, head here - amazon.co.uk
The Forager Chef's Book of Flora: Recipes and Techniques for Edible Plants from Garden, Field, and Forest by Alan Bergo - best for getting the most from your foraging finds
Just because you've found something in the wild, it doesn't mean that it has to taste disgusting. In fact, it can be quite the opposite, especially if you've got an excellent handbook like The Forager Chef's Book of Flora: Recipes and Techniques for Edible Plants from Garden, Field, and Forest by Alan Bergo (Forager Chef). Whether you're a home cook or you're working in a professional kitchen, the ideas and recipes (180 of them) are bound to get your mind racing and help you make the most of your foraging finds. The information is conveyed in a simple and concise manner, and it is a joy to read. Add this book to your shelf right now!
Check out the book for yourself here - amazon.co.uk
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake - best for understanding fungi
We think a crucial part of foraging is to really connect with the wild food that you're collecting, and we don't think that anything will help you to connect with fungi more than Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake. Not only is the book packed with information about fungi which is explained in a beautifully simple and concise manner, but it also includes lots of stories from the perspective of the writer about some of the more complicated aspects of fungi study, such as psilocybin. Despite being very informative, this book feels miles away from the boring textbooks about fungi. Definitely give this book a read!
You can buy the book from Amazon in paperback or Kindle format here, plus you can get the audiobook which is excellent! - amazon.co.uk