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Table 1 Food species mentioned by Marcgrave in the work Historia Naturalis Brasiliae[36]

From: Food flora in 17th century northeast region of Brazil in Historia Naturalis Brasiliae

Taxonomic track Popular name H PU MC WU CI Report of the naturalist
Amaranthus viridis L. Cararu; Bredos H x Cooked x x This herb is cooked as a vegetable in the same manner as chard, has a good taste and easily softens when cooked (HNB, p. 13)
Iresine vermicularis (L.) Moq. Perexil H Le; Bar Cooked and seasoned, served with beef and fish Portuguese x The leaves and branches, cut short and cooked with a little vinegar, can be seasoned and preserved as a pickle to be eaten with beef and fish. These parts have great flavour and are highly valued by the Portuguese; they increase appetite, develop urine and open the oppilation of the viscera (HNB, p 14.)
Anacardium occidentale L. Acaiaiba; Acaiuiba Tr Nu; Fr As wine and fresh Indians x The Indians appreciate more the nut for food than this fruit, from which they extract a wine (HNB, p. 94–95)
Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi Aroeira Tr Fr As wine, vinegar and honey Americans Dries the intestine From this fruit cooked in water, according to the decoction mode, a very good wine or potion, vinegar or honey are made (HNB, p. 90–91)
Spondias purpurea L. Acaia; Ibametara Tr Le As spice x x From the crushed new leaves, a seasoning of very pleasant flavour to roasted meats is made (HNB, p. 129)
Spondias tuberosa Arruda* Umbú Tr Fr; Le; Br As beverage or fresh x x The ripe fruit has a nice, bittersweet flavour, used like the leaves, i.e., as a beverage. When chewed, the root crumbles into a watery, fresh and palatable juice, being used by weary travellers as an admirable refreshment, resembling the "watermelon" regarding the sweetness and wholesomeness of water (HNB-M., p. 108; HNB-P., p. 77)
Tapirira guianensis Aubl. Copiiba Tr Fr Fresh Indians x The fruit is eaten by sucking the juice and discarding the skin (HNB, p. 121)
Annona montana Macfad. Araticu ponhe Tr Fr x x x The fruit is not edible unless it has fallen spontaneously because it is then soft as porridge; the pulp resembles a mass of leavened bread, to which a little honey has been mixed, and tastes sweet and tangy spicy (HNB, p. 93)
  Araticum apê* Tr Fr X x x Acid-sweet, edible fruit, but wild and cold and therefore not craved by all people (HNB-M, p. 94; HNB-P, p. 70; 142)
Xylopia frutescens Aubl. Ibira Tr Fr Dried, as pepper x x Its fruit is oval with the size of a hazelnut, with an aromatic and spicy taste; used dried and reduced, it can substitute for pepper (HNB, p. 99–100)
Hancornia speciosa Gomes Mangabiba; Mangaiba Tr Fr; S Fruit and seeds are eaten together x Fruits on the plant are impregnated with an acrid and bitter latex The fruits are not edible unless they fall from the tree spontaneously; its pulp is soft as butter and has a very nice and acidic taste, with seeds of albumen sweet flavour (HNB, p. 121–123)
Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott Taiaoba H R Cooked x X Its root is eaten cooked like the potato; it is sweet, with a remarkable flavour, similar to musk or violet (HNB, p. 36)
Montrichardia linifera (Arruda) Schott Aniga Iba Tr Fr X Indians X This fruit is eaten in case of need; it is eaten in times of hunger (HNB, p. 106)
Attalea oleifera Barb. Rodr. Pindoba Tr Fr The pulp is eaten with flour Blacks X It is eaten with flour by the blacks (HNB, p. 133–134)
Cocos nucifera L. Inaia guacuiba; Coqueiro Tr Fr; B The core of the ripe fruit is eaten and the water is drunk; the milk extracted from the core of the fruit is cooked with rice for dessert; the bulb is eaten. Honey, sugar, vinegar and wine are also made x The wine is harmful for the hydropics and those who have obstructed spleen The cavity is filled with a very pleasant water to drink; it is sweet, cold and clear (HNB, p. 138–141)
Copernicia cerifera Mart.* Carana iba; Anana chi carirí Tr Fr Fresh x   Sweet after ripe (HNB-M, p. 62; HNB-P, p. 62)
Syagrus coronata (Mart.) Becc. Urucuri iba Tr S X x X Inside the fruit, there is a hard seed; an edible white nut is found (HNB, p. 104)
Crescentia cujete L. Cuiete; Cochine Tr Fr The pulp is edible x X The unripe fruit encloses a white juicy pulp, with a smell close to that of watercress, slightly sweet. The barbarians eat this fruit in case of necessity (HNB, p. 123)
Bixa orellana L. Urucu Tr S The seeds are processed into a paste, which is mixed with manioc pap Indians x The paste of urucu has a good taste and is aromatic but tastes a little bitter, being eaten with a porridge of manioc called carimã (HNB, p. 61)
Ananas sativus Schult. & Schult. f. Nana; Ananas H Fr Fresh and in conserved with sugar Indians X The fruit has the sweetest smell and very pleasant flavour, like strawberries, extremely juicy (HNB, p. 33)
Bromelia karatas L. Nana brava; Caraguata-acanga Bu Fr X x X Produces an edible fruit, with a length equivalent to five fingers (HNB, p. 88)
Cereus jamacaru D.C.* Iamacarú; Cardon; Caxambú Tr Fr Fresh x X Edible fruit (HNB-M, p. 126; HNB-P, p. 99)
Hylocereus undatus (Haw.) Britton & Rose Iamacarú H Fr Fresh x x Fruit with succulent, tasty flesh, filled with black seeds. The whole internal part is eaten (HNB, p. 23–24)
Opuntia brasiliensis (Willd.) Haw. Iamacarú Tr Fr The fruit and the grains are edible x Dries the stomach and provokes flatulence It is said that the fruit, when eaten with the grain, dries the stomach; it provides good and pleasant nourishment (HNB, p. 126–127)
Canna indica L. Meeru H R X Blacks X The blacks eat the root (HNB, p. 4)
Crataeva tapia L. Tapiá Tr Fr X x X The fruit is edible (HNB, p. 98)
Carica papaya L. Mamoeira; Papay; Mamão Tr Fr Raw or cooked x x The fruit can be eaten raw but is usually eaten cooked alone or mixed with meat (HNB, p. 102–104)
Jaracatia sp. Iaracatiá Tr Fr Raw or cooked x X When ripe, falls spontaneously and is eaten raw or cooked (HNB, p. 128–129)
Chrysobalanus icaco L. Guaieru; Guajeru Bu Fr X x X This fruit has sweet white flesh; it is edible (HNB, p. 77)
Couepia rufa Ducke Guitiiba Tr Fr X Indians x The pulp is eaten, but not the seed; the pulp is negligible and gives the impression of having sand between the teeth when chewed but has a sweet taste and good smell, reminiscent of bread that has been recently made (HNB, p. 114)
Cleome rosea Valh ex DC. Micambe de Angola H S X Blacks X Used by blacks as food (HNB, p. 10)
Clusia nemorosa G. Mey. Coapoiba; Pao gamelo Tr Fr x x X They are eaten by some but are not much appreciated (HNB, p. 131–132)
Platonia insignis Mart. Ibacuri-pari Tr Fr The pulp is edible x X The pulp of the fruit has an acrid and a slightly bitter taste but is edible (HNB, p. 119)
Rheedia macrophylla (Mart.) Planch. & Triana Ibacuru-pari Tr Nu X Indians X The albumen, which is very white, is edible (HNB, p. 119–120)
Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam. Ietica; Quiquoaquianputu; Batata H Po Cooked, roasted, as fermented drink Indians x They are steamed or roasted in ashes and have a great flavour, more preferable than the radish. The fresh potato, when crushed and macerated in a little water, provides a drink (HNB, p. 16–17)
Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai Jaee; Balancia H Fr The fresh pulp is eaten, and the water is drunk x X It has a juiciest pulp of good flavour; it has such a large amount of sweet and cold water that, during the meal, it may be taken as if it was in a glass (HNB, p. 22)
Cucumis sp. Pepino Silvestre do Brasil H Fr X x X It is edible (HNB, p. 44)
Cucurbita pepo L. Iurum; Bóbora; Pompoen H Fr Roasted or cooked x X The boiled or baked fruit in the ashes has a good taste (HNB, p. 44)
Polynome alata (L.) Salisb. Cará; Inhame de São Thomé; Quiquoaquicongo H R Cooked or dried Inhabitants from Guinea X The root, when cooked with butter or olive oil and pepper, has a great flavour; it is dry and floury, and thus, the people from Guinea eat it to replace bread (HNB, p. 29)
Manihot esculenta Crantz Maniiba; Mandijba; Mandioca Bu R; Le For preparing flour, pap, bread, cakes Indians The milky and glutinous juice of the root kills all living beings The leaves, when pounded and cooked with oil or butter, are edible (HNB, p. 65–67)
Manihot glaziovii Müll. Arg. Maniçoba; Mandijba Tr Le Cooked x X The leaves, well crushed with a pestle in a wood mortar and then cooked with olive oil and butter, are eaten like cooked spinach (HNB, p. 68)
Arachis hypogaea L. Mundubi H R Cooked x Eaten in a large amount cause headaches Are served to eat cooked and presented as dessert (HNB, p. 37)
Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth Comanda guira Bu S Cooked Indians Laxative Has a good taste when cooked (HNB, p. 62)
Geoffraea sp. Umari Tr Fr Cooked x The unripe fruit is harmful for the stomach Eaten unripe is harmful to the stomach and causes vomiting, so it is usually cooked and mashed with the seeds in the mortar, and the paste is eaten replacing bread or flour in dishes of beef and fish (HNB, p. 121)
Hymenaea martiana Hayne Jetaiba Tr Fr X Indians X The flesh, whose taste is not disregarded, is eaten (HNB, p. 101)
Inga vera Willd. Inga Tr Fr Fresh Indians X This edible fruit is palatable (HNB, p. 111)
Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet Mandatia H S Cooked x X The seeds are edible, with an excellent taste if mixed with spices and cooked (HNB, p. 52)
Phyllocalyx edulis O. Berg. Ibiruba Tr Fr x x x The fruit has a juicy pulp, with an acidic taste and slowly embittering, not unpleasant, and has a sweet and grapey smell; the seed is discarded, the rest is eaten; it is an excellent fruit and can be eaten in a large amount without inconvenience (HNB, p. 132)
Voandzeia subterranea (L.) DC. Mandubi d'Angola H R Roasted x X Edible roots (HNB, p. 43–44)
Heliconia vaginalis Benth. Aglutiguepo-obi; Acutitiguepo; Cotitepooba H R Roasted and cooked x X The root is roasted or boiled for food in times of hunger (HNB, p. 53)
Vitex rufescens A. Juss. Ibapurunga Tr Fr Fresh Indians X These fruits are eaten without the bark; they are sweet but not too manifest (HNB, p. 116)
Lecythis pisonis Cambess. Iaçapucaya Tr Nu Raw and roasted x X The nuts have an albumen with great flavour, which is eaten raw or roasted (HNB, p. 128)
Byrsonima sp. Mureci Tr Fr X Indians X The fruit of this tree consists of berries with the figure and size of briar fruits and are edible (HNB, p. 118)
Hibiscus esculentus L. Quingombo; Quillombo H Fr Cooked x x This pericarp smells like pods when green and have a sweetish taste; it is entirely cooked in water and is eaten cooked with olive oil, vinegar and pepper, the more ripe, the better to cook (HNB, p. 31)
Saranthe marcgravii Pickel Tamoatarana H B Cooked x X It is cooked and eaten like (sweet) potatoes; it has a good flavour (HNB, p. 53–54)
Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don Caaghiyuyo Bu Fr Fresh or as juice Ethiopians X Fruits, with a sweet taste, are eaten by the Ethiopians and provide a juice more or less like the blueberry (HNB, p. 59)
Mouriri pusa Gardner ex Gardner Curuiri Tr S X Indians X It is edible and often enjoyable (HNB, p. 109–110)
Maclura tinctoria (L.) D. Don ex Steud. Tataiiba Tr Fr Fresh or with sugar or wine x x The fruits are juicy and sweet and are eaten as blackberries, pure or with sugar and wine (HNB, p. 119)
Musa paradisiaca L. Pacoeira; Quibuaaquitiba Tr Fr Fresh, cooked or fried x X It has a good flavour and is eaten pure, with manioc flour, baked or fried in olive oil or butter (HNB, p. 137–138)
Campomanesia dichotoma (O. Berg) Mattos Ibabiraba Tr Fr; S X Indians X Its pulp and seeds are eaten together; the taste is sweet, somewhat mixed with resin (HNB, p. 117)
Eugenia uniflora L.* Ibipitanga; Ibipitinga; Ubapitanga Tr Fr x x x Very juicy fruit with red pulp and a hot taste, with a bit of pepper; it is an attractive dessert (HNB-M, p. 116; HNB-P, p. 121)
Psidium guineense Sw. Araça-iba Bu Fr In conserve with sugar (marmalade) x X It tastes good, sweet and astringent (HNB, p. 62)
Psidium guajava L. Guayaba; Granaet-peeren Tr Fr; S Cooked and raw x It is laxative when ingested, being thus unhealthy if eaten excessively The pulp contains small seeds, which are eaten together; the fruits are small and with a pleasant flavour; it is great both raw and cooked (HNB, p. 104–105)
Passiflora cincinnata Mast. Murucujá Bu Fr x x X The fruit is cut transversely when one wants to eat it, being recommended both for its scent and for its taste (HNB, p. 71)
Passiflora quadrangularis L. Murucuia-guaçú; Gauinumbi acaiuba Bu Fr; S The pulp is sucked with the seeds x X The smell and flavour of the fruit are sweet and mild; to eat it, it is cut crosswise, and the pulp is slightly separated from the pericarp (HNB, p. 70)
Sesamum orientale L. Sésamo; Gangila; Girgilim H S Oil extracted from the seed, and residuals eaten with corn Blacks X An oil is produced, which is commonly eaten and used (HNB, p. 21)
Piper marginatum Jacq. Nhamdu; Betre Bu Fr Dried x x Sun-dried fruits are sour as the best black pepper; it is not a bad food and gives a good flavour (HNB, p. 75)
Arundo saccharifera Garsault Vubae; Tacomaree Bu Cu To sweeten the food (produce sugar) x X The pith of the cane is solid, juicy, sweet and white (HNB, p. 82)
Portulaca oleracea L. Caaponga H x Cooked x X This herb is eaten cooked (HNB, p. 49)
Genipa americana L. Ianipaba; Ienipapo Tr Fr; S Fresh or as wine x X From the acidic flavoured pulp, refreshing and with a pleasant smell, a wine is squeezed; its grains or seeds are also eaten with the flesh (HNB, p. 92–93)
Talisia esculenta (A. St.-Hil.) Radlk. Nhua Tr Fr X x x Fruit has a somewhat bitter taste; when ripe, it falls, being picked up and eaten (HNB, p. 100)
  Pitoma Tr Fr The pulp is eaten x X The flesh tastes astringently acidic and is separated from the bark, cut and eaten (HNB, p. 125)
Pouteria grandiflora (A. DC.) Baehni Guiti-toroba; Steen-appel Tr Fr Ripe Indians It is inedible before ripe because it is replete with acrid latex The fruit, when opened, exudes a strong disgusting smell, like old grease, with a sweet tasting pulp; the fruit is edible (HNB, p. 113–114)
Capsicum annuum L. Quiya uçu; Pimenta grande; Pimentões H Fr As spice Indians x The Indians smash this pepper with salt and call this mixture Iuquitayae, with which they season the food at the time of the meal in the same way that we use salt (HNB, p. 39)
Capsicum annuum var. frutescens (L.) Kuntze Quiya cumari; Quiyaqui; Pimenta malagueta H Fr X Indians x This fruit tastes very bitter, much spicier than the other species (HNB, p. 39)
Physalis peruviana L. Camarú H Fr x x x The fruit is edible and has a flavour similar to our bladder cherry (HNB, p. 12)
Solanum agrarium Sendtn. Iuati Bu Fr X x x Edible fruit like gooseberry; presents a pleasant acidic taste (HNB, p. 80)
Solanum melongena L. Belingela; Macumba; Tongu H Fr Cooked x x This fruit is baked seasoned with olive oil and pepper and has the flavour of lemon (HNB, p. 24)
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. Acetosa H x Used in salads x x It has a nice acidity; it is used for salads (HNB, p. 23)
Cecropia concolor Willd. Ambaiba Tr Fr X Indians x Are taken as teeth and eaten (HNB, p. 91–92)
Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. Caraguata H Le Cooked x x The leaf and the caudex, cooked in an underground oven, are edible, tasting like diacitrum (HNB, p. 38)
Ximenia americana L. Jua umbu Tr Fr X Indians x This fruit is edible (HNB, p. 108)
  Erva (o autor não menciona o nome) H Le; Fl X Blacks from Angola x The blacks from Angola eat the leaves and flowers (HNB, p. 19)
  1. Legend: H = habit (H = herb; Bu = bush; Tr = tree); PU = part used (R = root; S = seeds; Fr = fruit; B = bulb; Le = Leave; Cu = culm; Nu = nut; Br = branches; Po = potato; Fl = flower); MC = mode of consumption; WU = who utilises; CI = contraindication; HNB = Historia Naturalis Brasiliae; HNB-M = Historia Naturalis Brasiliae, Marcgrave´s book; HNB-P = Historia Naturalis Brasiliae, Piso´s book; * = species mentioned by Marcgrave but whose food use was discriminated by Piso; x = without information.