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Untamed Mushrooms

Untamed Mushrooms

Regular price $ 29.95

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From Field to Table

Author Michael Karns, Photography by Dennis Becker, Author Lisa Golden Schroeder

Minnesota Historical Society Press (April 1, 2018)

Take a wander in woods and over fields with experienced mushroom hunters and, if your luck holds, safely bring home a wild harvest to cook and savor at the table.


Step into nature, whether in a park, forest, prairie, or lakeland, and you are surrounded by edible wild foods—if you know where to look. Old traditions of foraging have seen a passionate resurgence of interest among ​midwestern chefs and home cooks intrigued by the vitality of foods growing just footsteps—or a healthy hike—from their doors. But many hesitate over collecting wild mushrooms: How do you know which ones are okay to eat? And once you do, how should you prepare them?

Untamed Mushrooms opens up the field, explaining how to seek, find, and cook wild mushrooms. Gorgeous full-color photographs and expert guidance unspool the vagaries of locating mushrooms in the wild and safely harvesting them for your table. Featuring thirteen delicious mushrooms celebrated in over one hundred unique kitchen-tested recipes, this book is a guide to truly spectacular seasonal eating. Once you’ve arrived home with your woodland bounty, try Grilled Lake Trout with a Mess of Morels, Roasted Corn Soup with Mushroom Duxelles, Prairie Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted ​Mushrooms ​and​ Chioggia Beets, Pork Tenderloin ​with Black Trumpet Sorghum ​and Ground Cherry Salsa, Game Hens with Creamy Maitake Pasta, or Porcini-Dusted Chicken with Wild Mushroom Farrotto. Accept this official invitation to begin your own mushroom stalking adventures that will lead to some seriously delicious eating.

Visit the Untamed Mushrooms website.

Author information

Michael Karns began foraging as a teenager after he and his family moved to forty wooded acres in north-central Arkansas. Since those humble beginnings collecting puffballs and wood ear, his passion for great food and a slightly obsessive compulsion for learning have led him to delve deeply into mycology and the delicious treasures the forest has to offer. Michael is a certified mycological identification expert in the area of food service and sourcing, a member of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) and the Minnesota Mycological Society (MMS), and owner/proprietor of “Found Foods”—a purveyor of wild-sourced and artisan-created foods from across the region and around the world and host to classes and dining events. Through this pursuit Michael brings his knowledge, experience, and products to the novice and expert alike. You might find some of his forest discoveries on your plate in a Twin Cities foodie-favorite eatery or online at

Dennis Becker is a Minneapolis-based commercial photographer specializing in food photography. His work for local and international food companies can be seen in cookbooks and magazines and on billboards, food packaging, websites, and social media. He has extensive experience working with advertising agencies in Minneapolis as well as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. His work can be seen at In 2014, Dennis Becker and Lisa Golden Schroeder created the blog to tell stories, through photos and words, of inspirational people with a passion for regional food and nature. Photographing Untamed Mushrooms inspired and taught him about the varieties of mushrooms that are truly works of art—and good to eat. Dennis works out of his studio in the Minneapolis area.

Lisa Golden Schroeder is a veteran food writer, food stylist for commercial photography, and entrepreneur. Armed with a degree in nutrition and journalism, along with a mind-expanding stint at École de Cuisine La Varenne in France, her real-life work experience as a corporate test kitchen professional and cookbook editor led her to writing for national publications, both in print and as a sought-after blogger for clients. Her own web site,, features her food styling portfolio and trifling with food, an eclectic kitchen journal filled with her modest culinary adventures and food memories. She is the cofounder, with Dennis Becker, of the blog She specializes in cooking with whole foods and developing approachable recipes for families, often veering onto the path of less familiar flavors and unique techniques. Her second home is on the edge of the northeastern wilderness of Minnesota, where identifying wild foods along forest trails is a constant source of fascination.

Reviews and news

This hybrid armchair forest guide & cookbook is filled with details about a baker’s dozen of easily identified—and some of the most delicious—wild mushrooms. A winner of a 2019 Midwest Book Award, a finalist for a 2019 Best Cookbook Food Photography & Styling award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, as well as a finalist for a 2019 Gourmand International Cookbook award.

Edible Indy
Star Tribune
MplsStPaul Magazine
KARE 11 Saturday
City Pages
The Growler

Winner of the Midwest Book Award for "Total Book Design"

Advance Praise:

Untamed Mushrooms makes me want to head right to the Midwest—what treasures the authors have unearthed! Glorious photographs, evocative prose, and inventive recipes celebrate not only nature’s bounty but the multicultural communities of our heartland. Here are natural history and storytelling at their best.”
Darra Goldstein, founding editor, Gastronomica, and author of Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking

“At last, midwestern mushrooms are getting the attention they deserve. The practical guidance in this beautiful book is right on time, and comes from one of our region’s most devoted foragers and lovers of good food. Lots of people send me questions about wild mushrooms, but when I get a question that stumps me, I ask Mike Karns.”
Alan Bergo, Forager|Chef

“Looking to convince a hesitant, slightly-too-normal friend or relative to go mushroom hunting with you? Untamed Mushrooms is the ticket: great photos, superb recipes, a selection of common and easily identified but excellent edible species, and all of this peppered with fun stories that leave the new mushroom hunter with realistic expectations for outdoor excitement.”
Samuel Thayer, author of Incredible Wild Edibles and The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants

Untamed Mushrooms is a love letter to the woodlands and seasons of the Midwest and its food traditions, old and new. This book offers an elegant answer to the familiar foraging question: ‘What is this and can I eat it?’ by presenting a meticulous account of a baker’s dozen of the most desirable and easy to identify edible mushrooms. Hunting mushrooms is profoundly seasonal, and so are the lovingly collected and exquisitely photographed recipes in this book.”
Kathy Yerich, vice president, Minnesota Mycological Society and North American Mycological Association, and coauthor of Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest


  • 324 pages
  • 150 color photos, 100 recipes, index, bibliography
  • 8x10 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681340869

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