Book Reviews

Book review: Fruit – Edible, Inedible, Incredible.

Ordinary consumers know little about fruits, except to make purchasing decisions in grocery stress. Yet, there is a lot to know about fruits. The more you know any consumable, the more you appreciate it.

Wolfgang Stuppy Ph.D. (comparative seed morphology and anatomy) and Robe Kesseler, professor, (Central St. martin’s College of Art and Design) set out to inform people everywhere about the world of fruits –edible, inedible, and incredible.

The information in this lavishly illustrated book is simply unmatched from a botanical perspective. It deals with tropical fruits, how they are dispersed, and where they thrive. Both authors also devote a lot of pages to fruits commonly grown and consumed in the northern hemisphere.

First they explain that fruits are the ripened ovaries of flowers of specific plants. Many fruits like tomatoes, peas, beans, corn, peppers and cucurbits are used as vegetables, some raw, some cooked, and some in both ways.

The authors explain that there are three types of fruits – simple, aggregate and multiple.

Simple fruits (tomatoes, avocadoes, stone fruits, apples, pears, red currants) are one whole unit with seeds, and skin.

Aggregate fruits (raspberry, blackberry, strawberry contain many small segments that have grown around a core.

Multiple fruits (figs, pineapples, mulberries, breadfruits) are an amalgam of hundreds of parts in a procreative shell or skin.

Mangosteen is considered to be the “Queen of Fruits” and tastes delightful if picked ripe and consumed shortly after.

Olives, figs, pomegranates and grapes were the first fruits cultivated by humans several millennia ago and since then have been developing hybrids or by finding “terroir” most suitable for them to thrive.

Fruits contain a lot of phytochemicals, are high in soluble fibre, water and vitamin C, all of which happen to be beneficial to humans.

Fruits – edible, inedible, incredible, contains photography seldom seen in any book, and this alone justifies acquiring it.

Close up pictures (electronic microscope enhanced) of exotic fruits allows the reader to have a glimpse into the inner world of textures of them.
This publication is written by scientists for people with an interest in botany, and ordinary consumers, deserves the attention of all who eat fruits, and are interested in knowing more.

All libraries everywhere need to acquire this spectacular book and encourage interested parties to read it carefully, not once, but several times.

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