FOOD Plants of the World (CSIRO Publishing $89.99) is a comprehensive photographic guide to more than 400 food, beverage, spice and flavour plants that would be a worthy inclusion on all horticultural and culinary bookshelves.
The A-Z alphabetical listing covers all manner of fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts and seeds along with culinary herbs, spices, legumes, sugars, gums, gels and starches.
In this revised edition, author Ben-Eric van Wyk, who is a Professor of Botany, holds the DST-NRF national research chair in Indigenous Plant Use at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa and has a research interest in systematic botany and plant utilization is also a modern day herbalist.
Written in easy to understand language, the book is an accurate scientific and comprehensive overview of plants and their uses.
If you're curious as to where your food and drink comes from, this informative guide offers quick and informative answers plus contemporary uses of the various plant-derived products.
With more than a thousand colour photographs of plants, flowers and plant parts that are edible there are also descriptions of the plants and their close relatives including interesting facts on their origin, history, cultivation, harvesting, properties and culinary uses.
There's a checklist and quick guide to commercialized food plants listing their origin, parts used along with calories, protein, fat and vitamin content plus a chapter on nutrients, diet and health.
When it comes to "food for thought" perhaps consider growing your own sloes for jam or gin, vibrant Mexican marigold with its passionfruit aroma, sweet cicely to add licorice/aniseed zing soups, salads, seafood and desserts or purple yams for some authentic Filipino flavours to both sweet and savoury dishes.
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