Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes)


The Book of Difficult Fruit is a foodie's dream, full of essays about rare/exotic/difficult fruits written and presented by Kate Lebo. Due out 6th April 2021 from Macmillan on their Farrar Straus & Giroux imprint, it's 416 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

There are 26 entries included in this collection arranged alphabetically - something of a rogues' gallery of the fruit world. They range in inclusion from aronia to zucchini and have been included according to a broad range of criteria from difficult taste to thorny unpleasant or difficulty in preparation and use. Each of them includes a charming essay along with a couple recipes from the author's collection. 

I really enjoyed reading the essays. The recipes have limited use for me personally, and I haven't tried any of them (yet). A fair few look intriguing: hiker's toilet paper, thimbleberry kvass, spider balls (it's not what you're thinking, I promise), and durian lip balm (!!!) to name a few.

My only quibble (and it's a very small one) is the author's use of Xylitol for the X chapter. Then again, what else would have fit there (xylophones aren't fruit). Some of the entries do have an ever so slightly pseudo-scientific new-agey feel. It's not too much, but it is there. I found it mostly charming.

Four stars. I would recommend it to foodies who enjoy reading food related books. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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