The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession



A vivid and unforgettable expedition through the world of exotic fruit, The Fruit Hunters is the engrossing story of some of Earth's most desired foods told by an intrepid journalist and keen observer of nature--both human and botanical.

Delicious, lethal, hallucinogenic and medicinal, fruits have led nations to war, fueled dictatorships and lured people into new worlds. Adam Gollner examines the fruits we eat and explains why we eat them (the scientific, economic and aesthetic reasons); traces the life of mass-produced fruits (how they are created, grown and marketed) and explores the underworld of fruits that are inaccessible, ignored and even forbidden in the Western world. Peopled with a cast of characters as varied and bizarre as the fruit it discusses--smugglers, inventors, explorers and epicures--this extraordinary book can "fill a thousand and one summer nights with delightful reading" (The Miami Herald ).

Product Details

Price: $18.98
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Published Date: December 01, 2010
Pages: 288
Dimensions: 6.0 X 0.65 X 9.0 inches | 0.94 pounds
ISBN: 9780743296953
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Adam Leith Gollner has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, and Lucky Peach. The former editor of Vice Magazine, his first book is The Fruit Hunters. He lives in Montreal.


"Adam Leith Gollner is the best kind of monomaniac. Hess a writer in love with his subject, an obsessive chasing after obsessives. And what a fruitful Eden this Adam has discovered: the global underworld of rare-fruit aficionados, fruitarians, fruit smugglers and fruit detectives. Lyrical and well informed, exuberant and erudite and recounted with aptly ripe turns of phrase, "The Fruit Hunters" is the heartfelt and always fascinating story of the quest for the sweetest prizes the natural world has to offer." -- Taras Grescoe, author of "Bottomfeeder" and "The Devil's Picnic"
"We have swooned with delight over Michigan's late-summer Bing cherries, but such moments of roadside pleasure pale in comparison to the passions that drive fruit hunters to discover and nurture exotics never found in supermarkets. Oh, how we would love to suck on a miracle berry of Africa and savor a tiger-striped fig! Adam Leith Gollner's mesmerizing account of fruits that are rare or commercial, erotic or medicinal, and of the sometimes nutty characters who care about them provokes righteous indignation over how much we are denied as well as a ravenous appetite to taste it. "-- Jane and Michael Stern, authors of "Roadfood"
""The Fruit Hunters" is a delectable journey through jungles, street markets and orchards in search of the world' s most exotic fruits. Gollner' s quest for the forbidden coco-de-mer, his love affair with the chupa-chupa and his durian-induced intoxication make him as fascinating a narrator as the fruit hunters, farmers and scientists he encounters along the way. I loved taking this culinary adventure with Gollner -- anyone who brings mangost eens to parties is welcome at my table."-- Amy Stewart, author of "Flower Confidential"
"Enough historical facts, horticultural wonders and real-life adventures of fruit fanatics past and present to fill a thousand and one summer nights with delightful reading." -"Miami"" Herald"
"Colorful, oddball nonfiction about some of the weirdest stuff that ever grew on trees or bushes. Yes, there is a fruit that smells like skunk. Yes, there's a grape-flavored apple. The author describes bringing a mangosteen to a party and using it as a conversation piece. The factoids in his book will be used in the same way."--Janet Maslin (
"An exotic underworld of fruit collectors, fruit robbers, fruit speculators, fruit inventors, fruitaholics, fruitarians and fruit acolytes all of whom populate the pages of Adam Leith Gollner's lively new book...Gollner is a swashbuckling travel writer with a yen for adventure and high jinks."--"Raleigh"" News and Observer"
"Rarely have I read a book so dense with information and yet so engaging." -Dava Sobel, "Barnes & Review"
"One of the most surprising, and satisfying, reads of the year."--"Washington Times"
"This is a fascinating chronicle of strange and wonderful food....Written with verve and ripe with detail, Gollner is certain to do for rare fruit what Susan Orlean did for rare orchids."
"Fascinating, sexy, dangerous and tasty."
"You'll delight in Gollner's globe-trotting adventures seeking exotic produce."
"From the first page, exotic facts about fruit lead to hairpin turns into more exotic facts about fruit...a series of surprises, made delicious by a writer's skill."