Know Your Mushrooms
Fans of fungi will be pleased to hear that a documentary dedicated solely to the pizza-topping favorite is now among us. A small theater release followed by an airing on the Sundance Channel in August of 2009 is all the exposure this fascinating documentary, entitled Know Your Mushrooms, has seen thus far.
Now, however, you’ll be able to learn all about the world of mushrooms in your own home. The chief fact amongst the other knowledge you’ll gain is that there is more to the world of mushrooms than can be explained in one 73-minute documentary. Mushroom experts Gary Lincoff and Larry Evans are interviewed and followed on various excursions from wild mushroom hunts to the Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado. Information about cooking and eating the mushrooms is presented, as is some info on dangerous mushrooms, edible but not so tasty mushrooms, and even odd mushrooms like the Giant Puffball, which resembles a tumbleweed and puffs out spores as it’s blown by the wind.
Viewers are also treated to a cute little cartoon ’shroom that offers fungi trivia. The documentary occasionally trails off in places where one might crave more information, but this is where the extras come in. Welcome To the Fungal Jungle is a short film similar to something one might have watched in a high school science class. Is it dry? A little. Is it informative? Most definitely. It goes in depth with the kind of scientific information that the documentary itself was lacking.
Also included is Gary Lincoff’s lecture from the Telluride Mushroom Festival, some deleted scenes that are worth a watch, the documentary’s theatrical trailer, a guide to Mushroom Clubs in North America, and a Fun with Fungi trivia game. The looping background of the DVD menu also makes a pleasant audio background if you’re into the sounds of the forest.
If you’ve ever wanted a crash course about mushrooms, Know Your Mushrooms is an entertaining and enlightening way to start. The passion displayed for the strange flora by the people featured is almost contagious and it opens up a world of interest that many may not have known existed.
Special Features include:
- Short film: Welcome to the Fungal Jungle
- Gary Lincoff lecture
- Guide to Mushroom Clubs in North America
- Fun with Fungi trivia game
- Deleted scenes