Reviews

Ten Tomatoes that Changed the World by William Alexander

flannel_dad's review against another edition

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informative medium-paced

4.25

carrotts's review against another edition

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funny informative medium-paced

5.0

slytherinwa's review against another edition

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informative medium-paced

4.0

yanners's review against another edition

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4.0

I am a Heinz lover.

I squeeze Heinz ketchup indiscriminately on my French fries not caring if the red non-newtonian blob of jelly is five times the amount of fries.

I dip all sorts of things into ketchup. My second finger. A chicken wing. Fishballs. Chips. Gummies. A subway ham sandwich cause the sauce is never enough (and no I’m not sponsored and the sauce is never enough).

And despite loving every inch of its processed, fattening, sugar-loaded glory, I abhor tomatoes. The slimy ooey seeds under the glossy crimson skin. The soggy mess it becomes when I deconstruct my sandwich and selectively eat the lettuce and ham only, leaving the miserable slices to drown in its own sauce.

Until this absolute gobsmacker of a book made me fall in love with tomatoes all over again.

All of a sudden, tomatoes aren’t some grubby lowlife vegetables/fruits/thingamabobs who’ve seen more of the world than my hodophile self could ever BUT SOME NEW FREAKING REVOLUTION??

No one told me there was a tomato movie. Or an entire, thriving, prospering tomato economy. Or how tomatoes have infiltrated the algorithm on every level and now I keep seeing Breaking Bad Tomato Ketchup Scene appear on my fyp.

And the unforgivable crime isn’t even in the fact that I thought the ten tomatoes were going to be some deep delve into ten tomato mascots that broke the internet but that I DISCOVERED MENDEL IS A MONK THROUGH THIS BOOK???

I’d like to think that I’m a pretty happening person in knowing the ins and outs and ons and notons of life. (mostly through whatever dubious sources TikTok feeds me but that’s not the point) I KNEW MENDEL’S PEA EXPERIMENT like the back of my hand. And yet, this was how I learnt that he was NOT a man with a huge pea garden but actually a MONK who propagated like five thousand pea plants in the courtyard???

WHAT

4 stars

jmart79's review against another edition

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informative lighthearted medium-paced

3.0

boone_bear's review against another edition

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informative lighthearted relaxing slow-paced

3.0

zenithharpink's review against another edition

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4.0

This book was such a fun read, especially surprising given the topic-tomatoes. I loved that the author didn't take himself nor his subject matter too seriously, and it made this book much more readable, instead of dry and pedantic.

The book research, combined with the travel as well as the author's clear passion for the topic, made this such a compelling and delightful read - I can't wait to check out Alexander's other books!

I would recommend this to anybody looking for a food and/or culture-themed non-fiction read.

cris_10_nj's review against another edition

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5.0

Holy tomato, this is my new favorite book. For those interested in the blend of gardening, science, history, culture and food, this well-researched book presents varied segments of tomatoes’ history. I loved this book so much.

catbooking's review against another edition

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4.0

Not very technical, but how technical can you really get on such a small everyday topic as tomatoes. Still, even with some 'water' in the narrative I learned a LOT about both the tomato past as well as the tomato present. It also made me want to go investigate tomatoes on my burger and on the shelves at my local grocery store.

Well worth checking out, even if you don't really like tomatoes.

bookographic's review against another edition

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funny informative medium-paced

4.0