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Food Plants of China [Hardcover]

By Shiu-ying Hu (Author)
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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 furthermore furnish inspiring stimuli for cultural development. This book contains two major parts. Part I introduces the cultural aspects of Chinese food plant and the spread Chinese culinary culture to the outside world. It also describes how the botanical and cultural information was acquired, which plants have been selected by the Chinese people for food, how these foodstuffs are produced, preserved, and prepared, and what lessons the people of developed countries can learn from Chinese practices. Part II provides the botanical identification of the plant kingdom for the esculents used in China as food and/or for beverage. The plants are illustrated with line drawings or composite photographs.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: The Chinese University Press
Pages   800
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.4" Width: 7.2" Height: 2.3"
Weight:   4.4 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 15, 2003
Publisher   The Chinese University Press
ISBN  9622018602  
ISBN13  9789622018600  

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More About Shiu-ying Hu

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr. Hu Shiu-ying was educated in China before the Second World War. She later attended Harvard University where she was awarded a doctoral degree in 1949. She has established herself as one of the most distinguished research scientists in the field of plant taxonomy during the past fifty years in Harvard's Arnold Arboretum. She was a visiting professor in the Department of Biology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and is still a senior college tutor at Chung Chi College which is one of the University's foundation colleges.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine
2Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Gardening & Horticulture > General
3Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Gardening & Horticulture > Regional
4Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Agricultural Sciences > General
5Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Agricultural Sciences
6Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Biological Sciences > Botany
7Books > Subjects > Science > Agricultural Sciences > General
8Books > Subjects > Science > Agricultural Sciences
9Books > Subjects > Science > Biological Sciences > Botany

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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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