I ordered some food for the mind for the spring trip. Having the right book for a cruise is very important to me. After sailing all day I take pleasure in dinner, maybe a ball game on the radio and a good book. I'm a fan of exploration and of food, so "The Food Explorer, The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who transformed What America Eats" fits the bill. Written by Daniel Stone, it is the story David Fairchild's world-wide expeditions from about 1890 to the start of World War 1.
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.
Now I just have to make sure I tuck the book away so I don't read it before casting off.
Clothed in mystery and lost in uncharted seas, the Spice Islands of the early sixteenth century tantalized European imagination to the point of obsession. As the only place on Earth where grew the "holy trinity" of spices-cloves, nutmeg, and mace-these minuscule islands quickly became a wellspring of international intrigue and personal fortune, occasioning the rise and fall of nations across the globe. It is the history of these islands, their mystique, and the men who tried to tame them, that is the fascinating bounty of THE SCENTS OF EDEN.
And of course Mark Kurlansky's books "Cod, A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World" and "Salt, A World History," the titles telling you all you need to know about the books.
"The Food Explorer," at least from reading the preface and first couple of pages by way of a kindle sample, promises to be just as good as these books. I can't wait to read it.