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The importance of a taste. A comparative study on wild food plant consumption in twenty-one local communities in Italy

Overview of attention for article published in Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, May 2007
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (55th percentile)

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135 Mendeley
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The importance of a taste. A comparative study on wild food plant consumption in twenty-one local communities in Italy
Published in
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, May 2007
DOI 10.1186/1746-4269-3-22
Pubmed ID

Maria Pia Ghirardini, Marco Carli, Nicola del Vecchio, Ariele Rovati, Ottavia Cova, Francesco Valigi, Gaia Agnetti, Martina Macconi, Daniela Adamo, Mario Traina, Francesco Laudini, Ilaria Marcheselli, Nicolò Caruso, Tiziano Gedda, Fabio Donati, Alessandro Marzadro, Paola Russi, Caterina Spaggiari, Marcella Bianco, Riccardo Binda, Elisa Barattieri, Alice Tognacci, Martina Girardo, Luca Vaschetti, Piero Caprino, Erika Sesti, Giorgia Andreozzi, Erika Coletto, Gabriele Belzer, Andrea Pieroni


A comparative food ethnobotanical study was carried out in twenty-one local communities in Italy, fourteen of which were located in Northern Italy, one in Central Italy, one in Sardinia, and four in Southern Italy. 549 informants were asked to name and describe food uses of wild botanicals they currently gather and consume. Data showed that gathering, processing and consuming wild food plants are still important activities in all the selected areas. A few botanicals were quoted and cited in multiple areas, demonstrating that there are ethnobotanical contact points among the various Italian regions (Asparagus acutifolius, Reichardia picroides, Cichorium intybus, Foeniculum vulgare, Sambucus nigra, Silene vulgaris, Taraxacum officinale, Urtica dioica, Sonchus and Valerianella spp.). One taxon (Borago officinalis) in particular was found to be among the most quoted taxa in both the Southern and the Northern Italian sites. However, when we took into account data regarding the fifteen most quoted taxa in each site and compared and statistically analysed these, we observed that there were a few differences in the gathering and consumption of wild food plants between Northern and Southern Italy. In the North, Rosaceae species prevailed, whereas in the South, taxa belonging to the Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, and Liliaceae s.l. families were most frequently cited. We proposed the hypothesis that these differences may be due to the likelihood that in Southern Italy the erosion of TK on wild vegetables is taking place more slowly, and also to the likelihood that Southern Italians' have a higher appreciation of wild vegetables that have a strong and bitter taste. A correspondence analysis confirmed that the differences in the frequencies of quotation of wild plants within the Northern and the Southern Italian sites could be ascribed only partially to ethnic/cultural issues. An additional factor could be recent socio-economic shifts, which may be having a continued effort on people's knowledge of wild food plants and the way they use them. Finally, after having compared the collected data with the most important international and national food ethnobotanical databases that focus on wild edible plants, we pointed out a few uncommon plant food uses (e.g. Celtis aetnensis fruits, Cicerbita alpine shoots, Helichrysum italicum leaves, Lonicera caprifolium fruits, Symphytum officinale leaves), which are new, or have thus far been recorded only rarely.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 135 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Italy 3 2%
Chile 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
India 1 <1%
Ukraine 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Unknown 127 94%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 25 19%
Researcher 19 14%
Other 13 10%
Student > Master 13 10%
Student > Doctoral Student 10 7%
Other 38 28%
Unknown 17 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 51 38%
Environmental Science 18 13%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 8 6%
Social Sciences 7 5%
Medicine and Dentistry 6 4%
Other 24 18%
Unknown 21 16%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 June 2022.
All research outputs
of 21,366,128 outputs
Outputs from Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
of 700 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 321,633 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,366,128 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 700 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 5.3. This one is in the 47th percentile – i.e., 47% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 321,633 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 55% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them