10 years ago, I wrote an article for the Norwegian herb magazine “Ren Mat” about Shungiku, a very popular Japanese vegetable known as Chopsuey Greens (Glebionis coronaria syn. Chrysanthemum coronarium). This was written in response to an article by editor Ella Sandnes from a stay in Malta in the early spring. She included a picture of a really common spring plant there, the Crown Daisy (see http://www.maltawildplants.com/ASTR/Glebionis_coronaria.php) which it turns out is the same species as Japanese shungiku, but rarely used in the Mediterranean countries despite its commoness and the traditional importance of foraging.
I’d always been fascinated in wild plants that were ignored in one area as food that were superstars elsewhere. How did such a common native herb to the Mediterranean countries have become one of the most popular vegetables in the Far East. There is a legend that Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy from China and I suggested in the article that he gave chopsuey greens in return :)
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