Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

goosefoot the common name of plants of the genus Chenopodium. Both the English and the generic name were bestowed because the plants have leaves shaped like a goose’s foot. These plants resemble and are related to spinach, and were in common use in Europe as green vegetables before spinach, which arrived from the east during the Middle Ages, superseded them. They are now little used, and rarely cultivated. One exception is quinoa, a S. American species grown for its seeds. Common goosefoots whose leaves are eaten are described under good king henry, fat hen, and orach.