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[Chinese] Millets in China and in Chinese

Don Osborn <d_z_o@xxxxxx>
To: CHINESE@xxxxxx
Dec 6, 2015 at 10:29 PM

Greetings, Is anyone on the list familiar with the kinds of millet consumed in China, and their difference in terms of nomenclature?

"Millet" in English actually covers a number of different species, of which two were first domesticated in China, foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and proso millet (Panicum miliaceum).

Foxtail millet is usually translated as 小米 (xiǎo mǐ), but there appears to be another term - 粟 (sù). This is apparently the most cultivated/produced millet in China.

According to Wikipedia, proso millet is 黍 (shŭ).


1) Are the above names correct?

2) Does 小米 (xiǎo mǐ) refer only to the foxtail millet or is it more of a generic term?

3) Are these two types of millet - 小米 (xiǎo mǐ) aka 粟 (sù), and 黍 (shŭ) - treated differently either in marketing (labeling of bags of one or the other) or in cooking?

This info will help the quality of two forthcoming blog posts in a series about millets.

Thank you in advance,

Don Osborn

Item retrieved from personal email archives.

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