The cyclic peptide toxins of poisonous Amanita mushrooms are chemically unique among known natural products. Furthermore, they differ from other fungal cyclic peptides in being synthesized on ribosomes instead of by nonribosomal peptide synthetases. Because of their novel structures and biogenic origins, elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway of the Amanita cyclic peptides presents both challenges and opportunities. In particular, a full understanding of the pathway should lead to the ability to direct synthesis of a large number of novel cyclic peptides based on the Amanita toxin scaffold by genetic engineering of the encoding genes. Here, we highlight some of the principal methods for working with the Amanita cyclic peptides and the known steps in their biosynthesis.