Arthur Allen’s new book Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato features California Hybrids founder Dr. Kanti Rawal. Kanti is a main character and source of information in this book, and many California Hybrids are mentioned as well!
The tomato. Savory as a bell pepper, sweet as a mango, and tart as a lemon, this strange fruit inspires a cultlike devotion from food lovers on all continents. The people of Ohio love the tomato so much they made tomato juice the official state beverage. An annual food festival in Spain draws thousands of participants to a 100-ton tomato fight. The inimitable, versatile tomato has conquered the cuisines of Spain and Italy, and in America it is our most popular garden vegetable.
Journalist Arthur Allen understands the spell of the tomato and is your guide in telling its dramatic story. He begins by describing in mouthwatering detail the wonder of a truly delicious tomato, then introduces the man who prospected for wild tomato genes in South America and made them available to tomato breeders. He tells the baleful story of enslaved Mexican Indians in the Florida tomato fields, the conquest of the canning tomato by the Chinese army, and the struggle of Italian tomato producers to maintain a way of life. Allen combines reportage, archival research, and innumerable anecdotes in a lively narrative that, through the lens of today’s global market, tells a story that will resonate from the greenhouse to the dinner table.