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Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide

By Ben-Erik van Wyk

A standout as a book about edible plants. A study of virtually every plant suitable for eating that you might encounter.

Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post

A comprehensive survey of the plants that provide food, beverages, spices, and flavorings, this book will serve as an invaluable reference to gardeners, ethnobotanists, nutritionists, culinary professionals, dieticians, and food enthusiasts. This scientifically accurate guide will allow them to identify all the major plant-derived foods and flavors, research culinary uses, and understand their dietetic and nutritional properties. Introductory chapters cover the various categories of plant use, including cereals, pulses (legumes), nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, culinary herbs, sugar plants, beverages, spices, and flavorings. The core of the volume is an encyclopedic description of more than 350 food and flavor plants in use worldwide, with over 1000 color photographs. This accessible, pictorial guide is a concise source of practical information, not readily available elsewhere, and should be on every food enthusiast's bookshelf.

Media reviews

"A standout as a book about edible plants. The author ... has made a study of virtually every plant suitable for eating that you might encounter."

—Joel M. Lerner, Washington Post

"A hefty but well-mannered reference approach to the topic, this book packs a serious informational punch."

—Tod Eunker, Bloomsbury Review

"Readers ... will find much of interest in this book. I strongly recommend it."

—Daniel F. Austin, Economic Botany

"This book is a gem. It deserves constant use by all who want easily accessible and accurate plant information."

—Jacqueline M. Newman, Flavor and Fortune

"If you are looking for a terrific guide that will help you identify plant-derived foods and flavors, including their culinary uses and health properties, then Food Plants of the World is the book for you."

—Debra Wasserman, Vegetarian Journal

"Van Wyk presents a superbly illustrated guide to more than 350 commercially important plants that are sources of cereals, nuts, fruits, vegetables, drinks, herbs, and spices. The photos distinguish this work work from similar titles."

—D. M. Rosenthal, Choice

"The botanical world is richly edible. In Food Plants of the World van Wyck uses vivid images and descriptions to bring the bounty of this diversity alive. This is a major contribution to expanding our culinary tastes and exploring the diverse world of the plant kingdom."

—Joan Edwards, Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture

"Here is another in the series of excellent plant books from Portland's Timber Press. The text, while detailed, is easy to read and well organized."

—Dan Hays, Salem Statesman Journal

About the author

Ben-Erik van Wyk

Ben-Erik van Wyk is a professor of botany at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His scientific field of interest is in plant classification, ethnobotany, and useful plants.

Read more about Ben-Erik van Wyk

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