Top 100 Exotic Food Plants

Top 100 Exotic Food Plants

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Features

  • Documents the botanical and agricultural aspects of food plants along with their culinary technologies
  • Familiarizes readers with a wide range of natural plant foods that are capable of contributing to a healthier diet
  • Presents information about each plant in a consistent format
  • Describes each plant’s history and economic and social importance
  • Details food uses and provides practical information on storage and preparation as well as potential toxicity

Summary

Many edible plants considered exotic in the Western world are actually quite mainstream in other cultures. While some of these plants are only encountered in ethnic food markets or during travels to foreign lands, many are now finding their way onto supermarket shelves. Top 100 Exotic Food Plants provides comprehensive coverage of tropical and semitropical food plants, reviewing scientific and technological information as well as their culinary uses.

Wide-ranging in scope, this volume’s coverage includes plants that produce fruits, vegetables, spices, culinary herbs, nuts, and extracts. A user-friendly format enables readers to easily locate information on botanical and agricultural aspects, economic and social importance, food uses, storage, preparation, and potential toxicity. The book also contains an introductory chapter that reviews important historical, economic, geopolitical, health, environmental, and ethical considerations associated with exotic food plants. Thoroughly referenced with more than 2000 literature citations, this book is enhanced by more than 200 drawings, many chosen from historical art of extraordinary quality.

This timely volume also highlights previously obscure edible plants that have recently become prominent as a result of sensationalistic media reports stemming from their inherently entertaining or socially controversial natures. Some of these plants include the acai berry, kava, hemp, and opium poppy. A scholarly yet accessible presentation, the book is filled with numerous memorable, fascinating, and humorous facts, making it an entertaining and stimulating read that will appeal to a broad audience.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Statistical Summary and Format of Presentation for the Exotic Food Plants

Acai Berry

Acerola (Barbados Cherry)

Akee

Allspice (Pimento)

Arrowroot

Asafetida

Bamboo

Baobab

Bay

Betelnut

Breadfruit

Cacti

Candlenut

Cape Gooseberries and Tomatillo: Physalis Species

Caper

Carambola (Star Fruit)

Carob

Cashew

Cassabanana

Ceriman

Chayote

Cherimoya and Atemoya

Chinese Artichoke

Citron

Clove

Coca

Coco De Mer (Double Coconut)

Culantro

Cumin and Black Cumin

Cycads

Durian

Epazote

Feijoa

Fenugreek

Galangal

Ginger

Ginkgo

Goji

Grass Pea

Guarana

Guava

Gum Arabic

Hemp (Hempseed)

Horseradish Tree

Jackfruit

Japanese Vegetables

Jicama

Jujube

Kava

Khat

Kiwi

Kumquat

Lemongrass

Lemon Verbena

Loofah

Loquat

Lychee, Longan, and Rambutan

Macadamia Nut

Mangosteen

Medlar

Melons (Exotic)

Miracle Fruit

Myrrh

Neem

Noni (Indian Mulberry)

Nutmeg and Mace

Oca

Okra

Opium Poppy

Palmyra Palm

Passionfruit (Granadilla)

Peach Palm

Pepino

Perilla

Persimmon

Pomegranate

Quinine

Rooibos Tea

Rose Apple

Roselle

Saffron

Sago Palm

Sapodilla

Sapote

Sarsaparilla

Sea Buckthorn

Spinach (Exotic Species)

Stevia

Sweetsop and Soursop

Tamarind

Tobacco

Tree Tomato (Tamarillo)

Turmeric

Vietnamese Herbs

Wasabi

Water Chestnut

WaxGourd

Wonderberry and Garden Huckleberry

Yard-Long Bean

Zedoary

Appendices

Index

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Ernest Small received a doctorate in plant evolution from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1969 and has since been employed with the Research Branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where he presently holds the status of Principal Research Scientist. He is the author of over 300 scientific publications on plants and 13 books, several of which have received major awards. Dr. Small’s career has included dozens of appearances as an expert botanical witness in court cases, acting as an adviser to national governments, presenting numerous invited university and professional association lectures, supervising post-graduate students at various universities, participating in international societies and committees, journal editing, and media interviews.

Editorial Reviews

"… this book's utility is as a condensed summary of likely avenues of interest for people working with the described plants, or an engaging read that could lead to research inspirations. It may also fulfill its mission of encouraging use of a wider range of culinary ingredients."
—Susanne Masters, University of Kent, in Economic Botany, 2013

 
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