Monday, August 12, 2019

August/September Selection: The Food Explorer

Happy Summer Cook the Booksters!

I am very happy to be hosting our August/September pick, The Food Explorer:The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats by Daniel Stone. (published February 2018). I was stuck on picking out a book, but the description of this one immediately caught my eye: 

The true adventures of David Fairchild, a late-nineteenth-century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes—and thousands more—to the American plate.

In the nineteenth century, American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater.

Kale from Croatia, mangoes from India, and hops from Bavaria. Peaches from China, avocados from Chile, and pomegranates from Malta. Fairchild’s finds weren’t just limited to food: From Egypt he sent back a variety of cotton that revolutionized an industry, and via Japan he introduced the cherry blossom tree, forever brightening America’s capital. Along the way, he was arrested, caught diseases, and bargained with island tribes. But his culinary ambition came during a formative era, and through him, America transformed into the most diverse food system ever created.

David Fairchild in 1889, courtesy of Wikipedia

How could I resist the story of the person who introduced three of my favorite foods (the avocado, the mango, and seedless grapes) to America? We have such a diverse food culture here and I am looking forward to reading about David Fairchild's travels and adventures along with all of you. I think this will offer us so many ways to go for our bookish dishes. 

The deadline for this round of Cook the Books is Monday, September 30th. I can't wait to see what you all make!

If you are new to Cook the Books and want to join in simply pick up a copy of the selection from your local bookstore or library, take inspiration from said reading, cook and post the inspired dish. We look forward to having you read and cook along with in this selection period and beyond. New participants are always welcomed with open arms! (Leave a comment here or check out our Guidelines page if you have any questions.


Kahakai Kitchen


Simona Carini said...

I started reading the book and am hooked: can't wait to follow Fairchild in his travels. Thank you for hosting, Deb :)

Debra Eliotseats said...

I have the book in hand but haven't cracked the cover yet. I cannot wait to dig in!

Debra Eliotseats said...

Enjoyed this one, Deb, and I am usually not one to love a non-fiction history such as this. My post is up!

Camilla M. Mann said...

I just emailed you! Thanks for picking this, Deb, I thought it would be more up my alley than it actually was.

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

Hi Deb, my post went live this morning. Thanks for hosting. It was interesting to learn about this program. I guess I hadn't ever given it much thought.

Claudia said...

A very interesting and informative read Deb. My post is now up:

Ali said...

I thought it was a great read - inspired me enough to post a blog post after a very long hiatus! :) Here's the link:

Amy said...

Thanks for hosting! I sure learned a lot in this book!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Thanks so much everyone for your posts. I will try to get the roundup posted by the middle of the week and get around to all your posts as I write it. I am sorry I haven't gotten by your blogs sooner, work has been insane.

Simona Carini said...

I loved this book: I learned so much! Thank you for choosing it, Deb and for hosting this edition. Under the wire, here's my contribution, which includes a personal discovery: