Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sustainable Food Book Club: The Fruit Hunters


These are all photos of funky fruits from my trip to Costa Rica a few fall breaks ago.

Okay, so this isn't really a "book club" in the sense that it's not a club. It's just me, bolstered by a resolve to read more this year and read things that matter to me. Top of that list: food. No surprise there, right?

My pick for the month of February was Adam Leith Gollner's The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession. This journalistic foray into all things fruit ran from historical to erotic and back again. While his descriptions read like full-color fruit porn, sometimes in a somewhat off-putting manner, I devoured his accounts of the truly fruit-obsessed such as the fruitarians who eat nothing but fruit, the fruitleggers (fruit smugglers, yes, really) and the fruitmafia (kind of self-explanatory), and the fruititects.

I just made up that word, fruititects, but what would you call someone who builds a fruit? Have you ever heard of a grapple? It's an apple that tastes like a grape. And, no, not an earthy, burst of sweet liquid in your mouth kinda grape. The 'grape' that is a purple Fanta drink or a bright-colored piece of candy. Yikes.

I found this book truly enjoyable. A great way to unwind after a day full of chaos. I lost myself in his descriptions, longing to travel to the far reaches of the globe to track down some of these rarites, and sneering at the blah options in my fruit bowl currently. This read definitely took my fruit-snobbery even a little bit higher. Yes, that is possible.

Up next...I'm going from fruit to seafood. I'll be diving in to Taras Grescoe's Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood for the month of March.

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