cover image The Origins of Fruit and Vegetables

The Origins of Fruit and Vegetables

Jonathan Roberts, Johnathan Roberts. Universe Publishing(NY), $22.5 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-7893-0656-2

Botanical engravings, Dutch still lifes, paintings by Renaissance and modernist masters and 16th-century altar cloths illustrate this beautifully designed investigation of the provenance of our produce. Jonathan Roberts, a former Scotland trout farmer, economically and elegantly details how kiwifruit hailed from China (its Chinese name was ""monkey-peach""); how preserved ""garlands of celery"" decorate 3,000 year-old Egyptian mummies; and how the eggplant is the sole edible member of the nightshade family (which includes tomatoes) originating outside the New World. The Origins of Fruit & Vegetables is as lush as a summer garden, and as hard to resist. ( Jan.)