Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Booklist: The Pineapple

I recently read the excellent Times Literary Supplement review by Bee Wilson of the book The Pineapple: King of Fruits by Fran Beauman, and have added it to the book list. Beauman's book is a history of the pineapple from its introduction to European society up to the present day. A tantalizing quote from Wilson's review: "When (John Evelyn, the courtier and salad expert) tasted chunks of pineapple cut up by the King himself in 1668, he felt the flavour fell short of the “ravishing” descriptions he had read, having a “grateful acidity” but tasting more of “the Quince and the Melon” than anything more delicious. This illustrates Locke’s argument. The earliest European tasters of pineapple could only describe it by reference to other fruits. They could not summon up its full flavour either in words, or in the mouths of others."
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