Book Review

How Carrots Won the Trojan War by Rebecca Rupp

By Kjeld Petersen | January 01, 2012
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How Carrots Won the Trojan War: Curious (But True) Stories of Common Vegetables is a delightful romp into the history of the vegetables gracing our common tables from noted expert and author Rebecca Rupp. The research she provides, with good humor and aplomb, makes for a spirited, easy read and makes for great conversation starters at your next foodie-centric event. From carrots to turnips (and a lot in between), Rupp digests mountains of anecdotes and information from sources the merely curious could never find and lays them out in ways that make the mind and tummy spin.

There is more than enough here to keep the most ardent gardener or food history buff entertained with amusing and truthful facts. “The trouble is you cannot grow just one,” Rupp quotes humorist Dave Barry on the prolific nature of the zucchini. “Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden menacing other vegetables — at night, you will be able to hear the ground quake as more and more zucchinis erupt.” Words any gardener — or foodie — can relate to.

K. Petersen is contributing editor to edible Memphis and publishes book reviews online at

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