Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Perfect Fruit: Book Review

The Perfect Fruit
Have you ever noticed how the perfect fruit demands your attention? A run of the mill apple or banana is fine, benign even. But really spectacular fruit grabs you and doesn't let go. I hope everyone has the amazing experience of fresh, intensely flavored, sensual and almost overwhelming experience some day that Chip Brantley had when he first tasted a pluot. It changed his life. No kidding. The Perfect Fruit is his personal and journalistic investigation of this relatively recent stone fruit.

Barely into the first chapter I found myself inexplicably drawn to a local farmers market where I found the aptly named "flavor king." You have to admit, it is an awfully beautiful looking fruit. It tasted even better. Sweet, tangy, juicy, floral and complex.

Flavor King pluots

The season for pluots is pretty much now over, but if you want to read a book about a most unlikely subject that will draw you in, much like a piece of perfect fruit, I wholeheartedly recommend The Perfect Fruit. Brantley covers the breeding, the marketing and flavor of the fruit. The book is well-written, with a strong attention to detail, it covers much of the business related to stone fruit but also the passion that drives fruit breeders to keep working on new hybrids all the time.

I was a bit skeptical about a whole book on pluots. But it's a book filled with interesting characters, almost dynastic families and the forces of nature. I found it fascinating, I hope you will too.