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Food Plants of China [Paperback]

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Item description for Food Plants of China by Shiu-Ying Hu...

The food plants of an area provide the material basis for the survival of its population, and furnish inspiring stimuli for cultural development.

There are two parts in this book. Part 1 introduces the cultural aspects of Chinese food plants and the spread of Chinese culinary culture to the world. It also describes how the botanical and cultural information was acquired; what plants have been selected by the Chinese people for food; how these foodstuffs are produced, preserved, and prepared; and what the western societies can learn from Chinese practices. Part 2 provides the botanical identification of the plant kingdom for the esculents used in China as food and/or as beverage. The plants are illustrated with line drawings or composite photographic plates.

This book is useful not only as a text for general reading, but also as a work reference. Naturally, it would be a useful addition to the general collection of any library.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: The Chinese University Press
Pages   844
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 7.5" Height: 10.25"
Weight:   3.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2006
Publisher   The Chinese University Press
ISBN  9629962292  
ISBN13  9789629962296  

Availability  0 units.

More About Shiu-Ying Hu

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Hu Shiu-ying is one of the most distinguished research scientists in the field of plant taxonomy.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks
2Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Reference
3Books > Subjects > Reference > General
4Books > Subjects > Reference
5Books > Subjects > Science > Biological Sciences > Plants > General
6Books > Subjects > Science > Biological Sciences > Plants

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Reviews - What do customers think about Food Plants of China?

Great new reference work  Sep 22, 2005
If the average fine book gets five stars, this should get at least 50. Many of us have been waiting for decades, with little hope, for a real ethnobotany of China. This book fulfills our dreams, at least as far as food plants go--and Dr. Hu has already done a book on medical plants. The present book gives botanical accounts of hundreds of plants, many of them obscure--in fact, many are here reported as food plants for the first time. It also gives brief accounts of uses, and of major varieties of cultivated plants. Hu also gives a long section on bupin--supplements, plants with tonic and strengthening action in traditional Chinese medicine. This study alone could be a blockbuster book in its own right. Bupin plants were almost unknown before in the English-language literature, except for references--cryptic to the nonexpert, and botanically unsatisfying to the expert--in Chinese herbal medicine books.
The book gives dozens of excellent recipes, mostly for using the bupin. I can testify that they are authentic and well done. Some of the results taste like medicine, but most are wonderful teas or soups.
Even this book cannot give all the food plants of China! I am aware of several more, most (but not all) obscure frontier items. However, this book covers everything of much significance.
Mistakes are few, except for typos, of which there are far too many for a major university press (shame on Harvard). The only substantive mistake that will confuse anyone is the use of the terms "Chinese gin" or "rice gin" to refer to "jiou," Chinese alcoholic drinks. Gin is grain neutral spirits flavored with juniper, and does not exist in China except as an expensive import from the western world. Jiou can be "Chinese wine" (technically a still ale made from grain--rice or millets-- with various inoculants) or distilled liquor, known by such terms as maotai and sanshu, and technically a whiskey or vodka--it is usually made from sorghum, millet, or sweet potatoes. So we are left not knowing what sort of liquor Hu means. All we know is that it isn't gin. (In most of the bupin cases I've run into personally, it's distilled grain alcohol, basically a sort of whiskey.) When you make the recipes in the book, be sure to use Chinese "wine" when she says "sherry" and Chinese distilled jiou (maotai or the like) when she says "gin."
Everyone interested seriously in Chinese food or botany needs this book.

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