Saturday, January 31, 2009

Toronto filmmaker seeks to elevate lowly mushroom

Toronto documentary maker Ron Mann believes North Americans are fungiphobes — frightened of mushrooms.

Our supermarkets have at most two kinds of mushrooms, and few people would consider going into the woods to pick mushrooms themselves.

Mann admits he himself used to pick the mushrooms off his pizza.

That was before he went to the Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado and became a convert to the world of mushrooms, Mann told CBC's Q cultural affairs show.

"I was fascinated," he said. "Mushrooms are magic. I found myself in the company of Larry Evans, the Indiana Jones of mushroom hunting."

He is guided through the world of mushrooms by Evans, who gives mushroom seminars around the world and Gary Lincoff, who has written seven books on identifying mushrooms and co-leads the Telluride Mushroom Festival.

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