The humble mushroom. It’s perhaps not the first thing – unless you’re of a certain Camden-centric persuasion – that you’d think of as inspiring art, literature and dinner party conversation.
However, two authors – Sharon Plant and Ian E Wood – are set to fly (fry?) in the face of this notion, officially ‘bigging up’ the little grey fellas in their book The Art of Food: Mushrooms.
The book is a celebration of our fungal friends, aiming to be ‘about laughter and entertaining, about throwing a memorable dinner party that is informed and fun.’
The book promises to provide a whole new insight into mushrooms, giving dinner party-throwers the tools to create a swinging evening of merriment, or, simply, a nutritious meal for the family.
The Art of Food: Mushrooms includes recipes alongside fungi facts, fiction and folklore, covering all bases such as the history of mushrooming, identification, taste differences, and the appearance of mushrooms in art, literature and music.
And, if it turns out all your dinner party guests are, in fact, unbearably dull, there’s even a mushroom-related quiz to liven things up a little.
The next book in the series will be The Art of Food: Offal, which, based on the look of the mushroom tome, looks to far anything but, well, offal (say this in a Scottish accent and you may understand where this limp attempt at humour comes from).
The creators of the book are calling for designers who might like to submit their favourite offally good recipes for this, so get your meat-hats on and get writing – submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Art of Food: Mushrooms by Sharon Plant and Ian E Wood is published by Aspects Publishing, priced at £10.