- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Counterpoint; 1st edition (February 16, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582434263
- ISBN-13: 978-1582434261
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato Hardcover – February 16, 2010
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"It's that time of yearour hopes for the garden expressed in our nostalgia for the perfect tomato. In the end, Arthur Allen breaks it to us gently, there's no such thing. It exists somewhere in our collective American imaginationjust as the French dream of the perfect bread and the Italians dream of olive oil as it was when they were children. 'If we reach our destination,' Allen quotes one of his sources, 'we'll have nothing to do and nowhere to go. We never really want to get there!' Allen takes us on a romp through every variety; every texture and flavor, every existing genetic combination. In the end, he has a better understanding of the great difference between gardening and agriculture. It's one thing to dream of a flavor, another to re-create it for the masses." Los Angeles Times
"A robust tale of how tomatoes get to the table and why some don't taste very good when they get there.
For the denizens of the northern portions of the East Coast outside the growing season, writes former AP foreign correspondent Allen, tomatoes mean the round red things grown in Florida. More precisely: Roughly 85 percent of the areas east of the Mississippi were served by Florida tomatoes in the October-June months, with about the same percentage in the West buying Mexican products.” Lucky Westerners: Tomatoes from Mexico still taste something like tomatoes, and a small army of plant scientists and agronomists from all over the world have descended on the country to keep the supply coming. Poor Easterners: Tomatoes grown there are flawed” save for one thingthey fit a fast-food hamburger bun perfectly, and even if they have no taste, they are big and firm and can be sliced quickly by a machine without being turned to pulp. Implicated in that fast-food maw are issues of food justice, about which Allen writes from an unusual firsthand perspective. He ventured into the fields and picked tomatoes with immigrant workers, coming in with about half their yield owing to his inexperience but netting the same amount of pay, with a champion picker earning about $70 for a load of tomatoes that would likely bring $360 in a grocery store. Not a bad profit for an industry supported by such corporate types as a mild-mannered flak who produced reassuring explanations for why a socially responsible company like Burger King couldn't pay a bit more for its tomatoes.” Ultimately, Allen suggests, the factory system will endure alongside the boutique, heirloom, organic-garden variety of tomato production, with perfection not likely coming from the former.
An eye-opener for foodies, consumers and social-justice activists alike." Kirkus
Praise for the author's previous book, Vaccine
Timely, fair-minded and crisply written.” The New York Times
This compelling narrative of the vaccine’s undoubted triumphs and troubling challenges is highly recommended.” Library Journal
Allen deftly maneuvers as he wrangles myriad aspects of a very complicated issue into a comprehensible text.” Booklist
Allen adroitly chronicles . . . describing the science and serendipity behind each breakthrough and breathing life into the researchers who achieved them.” The Wall Street Journal
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It's unfair for me to say that the book doesn't go into enough depth. As a member of a small farm that grows and sells tomatoes at a farmers market, my appetite for knowledge about growing tomatoes is pretty much bottomless. I would have loved a book twice as long that spent a bit more time on the many different types of tomatoes you might come across and how they are affected by local growing conditions, diseases, and pests. Would that book have been as enjoyable to the majority of folks as this was? Probably not. But if this book encourages a few of it's readers to wander out to a local farmers market and pay a little extra for a good tomato, then it did both of us a favor and I am grateful.
If you ever ate one, or intend to, this well-written book is a must-read.
I really loved the sections about how big business is not so concerned about taste but about how tomatoes must be grown so that they can be effectively shipped and sold. I also loved when the author discussed his trip to the small towns in Italy looking for the perfect tomato.
In all a perfect book about a perfect fruit.
Allen explores the roots of the tomato fruit from its origins in the New World and its quick adoption by cultures worldwide and highlights the pioneering work of a few individuals and companies eager to preserve a trait marginalized by the food industrial complex: flavor.
Why do supermarket tomatoes taste so bad? And why are the tomatoes that taste so good so darn hard to come by?
Allen answers these questions in a provocative and evocative style that makes the book a delight to read.
A must for any lover or hater of the tomato, any home gardener, any chef (pro or amateur) and anyone interested in a prime example of the food industry's economic necessities trumping common sense.