Fruit : Edible, Inedible, Incredible

You may think you know fruit, but oranges are not the only fruit. Out there in the wider world, there is an unbelievable cornucopia of fruits that thrive in the warmer climes of our planet. Many of these are hitting supermarket shelves all over the world.

As weird and as wonderful as many of these are, they all share one thing in common – all fruits are part of an elaborate reproductive plot. Their true nature is concealed in what is held within their core: the seeds.

In Fruit by Wolfgang Stuppy and Rob Kesseler, we embark on a fascinating and beautifully photographed global journey among the strange and exotic. We are also surprised again and again by the supposedly familiar revealed as more strange and exotic than we thought.

You will be astounded by visions even of the humble tomato of countless salads and Bolognese sauces. The cashew apple, the apparently delicious sidekick to the toxically coated cashew “nut”. And, the schizocarpic fruit of the fruitless Rumia crithmifolia.

Fruits of all shapes and textures are displayed, many so alien to eyes accustomed to red, orange, and green ball-shaped species and yellow crescents. Think spiny, pitted, splayed, twisted, bitter, and prickled.

This is biodiversity like you have never seen it before. Dozens of entries, stunning photography and electron microscopy, and explanations of the how and why (as we understand them) of the myriad fruits. A final chapter discusses the ambitious Millennium Seed Bank Project, which is described as a fruitful partnership for survival.

You can find out more about Fruit, the book, here.

If you happen to be in London on September 23, 2008, you could pay a visit to the Royal Institution where Kesseler and Stuppy will be Sowing the Seed with an illustrated lecture on the weird and wonderful ways plants use to disperse seeds and ensure survival.

23rd September 7.00pm 8.30pm, The Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albermarle Street
London W1S 4BS. Tickets cost 8 standard, 6 concessions, 4 RI Members. For more information and to book tickets call 020 7409 2992

FRUIT Edible Inedible Incredible
Wolfgang Stuppy & Rob Kesseler
Papadakis Publisher, London
ISBN 978-1901092-74-5 35

Images courtesy of Wolfgang Stuppy and Rob Kesseler.