Native American Food Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary

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Timber Press, 2010 - Science - 455 pages
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Based on 25 years of research that combed every historical and anthropological record of Native American ways, this unprecedented culinary dictionary documents the food uses of 1500 plants by 220 Native American tribes from early times to the present.

Like anthropologist Daniel E. Moerman's previous volume, Native American Medicinal Plants, this extensive compilation draws on the same research as his monumental Native American Ethnobotany, this time culling 32 categories of food uses from an extraordinary range of species. Hundreds of plants, both native and introduced, are described. The usage categories include beverages, breads, fruits, spices, desserts, snacks, dried foods, and condiments, as well as curdling agents, dietary aids,  preservatives, and even foods specifically for emergencies. Each example of tribal use includes a brief description of how the food was prepared. In addition, multiple indexes are arranged by tribe, type of food, and common names to make it easy to pursue specific research.

An essential reference for anthropologists, ethnobotanists, and food scientists, this will also make fascinating reading for anyone interested in the history of wild and cultivated local foods and the remarkable practical botanical knowledge of Native American forbears.


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Native American Food Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary

User Review  - Savannah Schroll Guz - Book Verdict

The most comprehensive reference of its kind, this second edition grew directly from Moerman's expansive 1998 Native American Ethnobotany, from which his 2009 Native American Medicinal Plants also ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Daniel E. Moerman is William E. Stirton Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is widely known as a leading expert in the field of ethnobotany. Dr. Moerman is the author of Native American Ethnobotany (1998), which received the 2000 Annual Literature Award from the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. From 2004 to 2009, he was editor-in-chief of the scholarly journal Economic Botany.

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