2021: Edible Wild Plants in Japan

Source: The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 19 | Issue 6 | Number 5 | Article ID 5561 | Mar 15, 2021
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus

Edible Wild Plants in Japanese Culture and Cuisine:
A Look at the Japanese Horse Chestnut

Winifred Bird

Edible wild plants occupy an important place in Japanese culture and cuisine. They symbolize the seasons, motivate conservation of nature, and in the past provided an escape from starvation. Focusing on wild plants offers a different perspective on Japanese relationships with the land than does agriculture. The nuts of the wild Japanese horse chestnut tree (Aesculus turbinata, tochino-ki) were especially vital to mountaindwelling Japanese from the Jomon period (14,000-300 BCE) through the mid-twentieth century, both as a famine food and a celebratory one. This article, excerpted and adapted from the book Eating Wild Japan: Tracking the Culture of Foraged Foods, with a Guide to Plants and Recipes, describes the changing uses and meanings of this traditional food. ....

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