If you can’t tell your dragon fruit from your dragon bean, or you wouldn’t know where to start with a bambara groundnut, you’re not alone.
But if Prince Charles has his way, these exotic superfoods will feed millions and beat global warming.
The heir to the throne has helped launch the Forgotten Foods Network – a project to find long-lost and unfashionable foods to feed the world’s booming population and grow in extreme temperatures.
Royal approval: Prince Charles inspecting superfoods in Malaysia on Friday
It hopes to emulate the success of quinoa, once considered the ‘lost crop of the Incas’, before foodies rediscovered its highly nutritious properties and made it fashionable.
The scheme is now collecting forgotten recipes and testing them for their nutritional value and growing abilities in hotter weather.
During his visit to Crops of the Future, the Malaysian organisation behind the project, Charles tasted some of the recipes, including kevaru roti, a type of millet grown in arid areas of Africa and Asia.
‘They’re good,’ he said. ‘And very nutritious as well, are they?’ Also on the menu were biscotti using bambara groundnut rather than almond, as well as soup, mini-burgers and quiche made from moringa, a superfood dating back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans.
More elaborate dishes included dragon fruit tortellini with turmeric yoghurt and mint oil.
One royal aide said the prince was passionate about the project, while Charles himself said that the focus on finding crops that would grow in the future was ‘crucial for food security over the next 20 years’. He also praised the food project as ‘impressive’ as he launched it during his 11-day visit to South East Asia.
Professor Sayed Azam-Ali, of the Forgotten Foods Network, said: ‘It’s about collecting recipes from as many people as possible from all over the world, and learning from them.’