With 500 brief entries equally divided between edible animals and edible plants, this book will help preserve our knowledge of foods from prehistoric times and broaden our cultural tolerance of other's food choices. Entries include scientific and common names, uses, geographic distribution, toxic portions, and sometimes directions for preparation, nutritional values, and bibliographic citations. In a few cases, entries are supplemented with line drawings and recipes. Entries, which are arranged by common names, are occasionally enriched with historical references. For instance, Prickly Pears notes that during Operation Desert Storm maps issued to troops in the Persian Gulf listed these plants as a survival food. Currants and Gooseberries mentions that during World War II currants were raised in England because of a shortage of sources of vitamin C. The recipe for fried green tomatoes (in Tomatoes), long a southern delicacy, mentions this dish as the title of a recent movie and book. The text includes numerous see and see also references as well as occasional mention of nonfood uses (e.g., Walnuts, Yaks). The short bibliography includes such classics as The U.S. Armed Forces Survival Manual (1980), Schneider's Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables (1986), and Tannahill's Food in History (rev. ed., 1988). The very detailed index includes popular and Latin names, geographic areas subdivided by food names, and individuals or groups associated with certain foods
Edible Plants and Animals, a highly selective guide for laypersons, is a supplementary purchase for public libraries.