23rd out of 29 books — 10 voters
Citrus: A History
Walk into your local grocery store and down the produce aisle, and you’ll find a dazzling array of citrus, from navel oranges and clementines to grapefruit and key limes—and sometimes even more exotic fare like the Japanese yuzu or the baboon lemon. Nearly 100 million tons of citrus are produced globally every year, but where did these fruits first come from? How did they...more
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by University Of Chicago Press
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(showing 1-30 of 90)
Extremely disappointing. First of, his writing style was overly florid and annoying for my tastes, so I was inclined to less-than-love the book simply because of that, but I am a sucker for a well researched history book, so I could have easily overlooked my stylistic preferences in favour of an illuminating read. Alas, I didn't get that either. The book is not a coherent linear narrative at all. Instead, the book is divided into chapters that focus on one "aspect" of citrus and it's relation to...more
A fascinating look at the chemistry, economics, history and politics of citriculture. Lazslo is a chemist and we learn about such things as geraniol and terpineol and limonen, however, he also supplies recipes for fried oranges, key lime pie and the incomparable Brazilian drink the caipirinha. The narrative thrust is not strong and there is some loss of the main story in the anecdotes but over all I enjoyed it. Picking it up and reading chapters between others books is a good way to read it.
The narrative seems a little scattered, I think because the memoir aspect keeps getting tangled up with the history part. In the end, it wasn't what I expected, and while there were nuggets of interesting facts, I didn't feel like digging through the text to find them.