The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession
Simon and Schuster
, May 20, 2008
- 288 pages
Delicious, lethal, hallucinogenic and medicinal, fruits have led nations to war, fueled dictatorships and lured people into new worlds. An expedition through the fascinating world of fruit, The Fruit Hunters is the engrossing story of some of Earth's most desired foods.
In lustrous prose, Adam Leith Gollner draws readers into a Willy Wonka-like world with mangoes that taste like piņa coladas, orange cloudberries, peanut butter fruits and the miracle fruit that turns everything sour to sweet, making lemons taste like lemonade. Peopled with a cast of characters as varied and bizarre as the fruit -- smugglers, inventors, explorers and epicures -- this extraordinary book unveils the mysterious universe of fruit, from the jungles of Borneo to the prized orchards of Florida's fruit hunters to American supermarkets.
Gollner examines the fruits we eat and explains why we eat them (the scientific, economic and aesthetic reasons); traces the life of mass-produced fruits (how they are created, grown and marketed) and explores the underworld of fruits that are inaccessible, ignored and even forbidden in the Western world.
An intrepid journalist and keen observer of nature -- both human and botanical -- Adam Leith Gollner has written a vivid tale of horticultural obsession.