ABSTRACT: The use of local Mediterranean food plants is at the brink of disappearance. Even though there is relatively abundant information on inventories of wild edible taxa, there is also a crucial need to understand how these plants are consumed and when and how these consumption phenomena change over time and place around the Mediterranean. Additionally, it is important to study such knowledge systems and find innovative ways of infusing them to the future Mediterranean generations. During the years 2003-2006 a circum-Mediterranean ethnobotanical field survey for wild food plants was conducted in selected study sites in seven Mediterranean areas (European Union-funded RUBIA Project). Structured and semi-structured questionnaires have been administered to indigenous people and 294 wild food plant taxa were documented in the survey. A comparative analysis of the data was undertaken showing that the quantity and quality of traditional knowledge varies among the several study areas and is closely related to the traditions, environment and cultural heritage of each country. More similarities of wild edible popular use were revealed between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Mediterranean.
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 09/2008; 59(5):383-414. · 1.15 Impact Factor