A Potted History of Vegetables: A Kitchen Cornucopia
Lyons Press, 2011 (2011)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
n the foreword of this little book Lorraine Harrison writes, '
In some respects this book is a fan's newsletter; a place for teasing out delightful snippets of arcane information that will, I promise, enhance your eating experiences and - more beneficially, perhaps – lead to a discovery of lost heirloom varieties where tastes and textures belong to a superior, though not inaccessible, gastronomic world.
ombining botanical illustrations with interesting tidbits about the plants and tips on growing and preparing produce, this volume is filled with interesting and often esoteric information about all sorts of vegetables.
ou'll learn that wild asparagus hails from the fertile areas around the Nile and the Indus Rivers. Then Romans introduced it into Europe and it was cultivated during the Middle Ages in monastic gardens for both its medicinal and culinary uses.
rivia fans will delight in knowing that the lowly radish was once thought to be an antidote to poison, useful for removing freckles, and a restorative for hair loss. And, in Elizabethan England it was believed that thunder increased the curved surface of cucumbers growing in the fields.
f you suffer from
(fear of veggies) probably this is not a book you'll want to cuddle up with for an evening's entertainment. On the other hand, those who can't get enough tomatoes, potatoes, rhubarb and rutabagas will find this unusual book is a delicious diversion!
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