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Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 17, Metaphorosis rated it really liked it Shelves: rev , reviewed. With Rupp's light-hearted approach, the subject suddenly seems an obvious one to explore. As Rupp's extensive bibliography makes clear, there have, in fact, been many books on similar subjects, but somehow none caught my attention before this.

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Rupp makes no pretense at presenting serious science reviews. Rupp makes no pretense at presenting serious science here. She takes a Mary Roach approach, focused on anecdotes and tidbits. There's the occasional nod at anthocyanins, etc. I kept this as my bedtime reading for a couple of weeks, and my wife found she made little progress in her own book, as I was constantly interrupting her with curious facts about cucumbers and pumpkins.

Rupp relies a little too heavily on a few staples - Burpee seed catalogs and Thomas Jefferson - and the book is an appropriate length. More, and the fun might have worn out. But for what it is, it is very amusing and well worth reading. If you have any interest at all in vegetables, or are just looking for something light to read, take a look at this book. View 1 comment. Nov 15, Phair rated it liked it Shelves: natural-history , pop-culture , non-fiction. This was really interesting but a lot to absorb through steady reading- better perhaps digested over time in smaller helpings.

By the time I got to Turnips last entry it began to feel a tiny bit formulaic. Lots of fascinating tidbits but the author's research showed a little too strongly. I could have lived without all the references to varieties listed in seed catalogs over the years. What was best for me were the parts about the geographical origins and changes in various vegetables from fi This was really interesting but a lot to absorb through steady reading- better perhaps digested over time in smaller helpings. Well worth reading but sitting too long at this table might leave you feeling stuffed.

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Oct 21, Grace rated it did not like it Shelves: historical , nonfiction. The premise of this book was interesting, but there were not enough examples of common vegetables saving the ancient world in order to make up an entire book. The examples the author had maybe had enough material for a chapter, and the rest was filler -- like certain recipes or whatever.

I applaud the idea but feel misled. Mar 20, Seamus rated it it was amazing. The best book I've read all year! Dec 07, EdibleNotesReviews rated it really liked it Shelves: garden , food-history. 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 c 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.

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. Edible Notes received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher and received no additional compensation for this review. Copyright, Edible Notes Jul 12, Meaghan rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , history , trivia , food.

This is a fascinating little book, packed full of veggie facts. Among other things, I learned that tomatoes are legally a vegetable in spite of being, botanically, a fruit. Reading this book, in fact, made me hungry, and I went out and consumed raw vegetables for the first time in I don't know how long. Like a lot of books of trivia, though, it might be best consumed in small doses rather than all at once -- as a bedtime or toilet reading, perhaps. I'm going to pass it on to my father, a PhD bota This is a fascinating little book, packed full of veggie facts.

I'm going to pass it on to my father, a PhD botanist. Apr 01, Annetta rated it really liked it. I enjoyed this book. Did you know there were vegetables that could not be eaten in mixed company? I am a trivia nut, and this satisfied my need for useless knowledge. It was entertaining as well as factual. Oct 11, Madhulika Liddle rated it really liked it. How Carrots Won the Trojan War and how beans beat back the Dark Ages, how cucumbers mimic pigeons, how eggplants made a holy man faint, how peppers won the Nobel Prize, etc is all about twenty-three vegetables.


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Their botany, their history, their chemistry, their popularity, their nutritional value, and their cooking. Beginning with asparagus and ending with turnips, Rupp covers everything from massive 1, pounder pumpkins to the diminutive pea, from vegetables the onion family, for one that seem to have been universally popular despite everything that smell! Rupp has obviously done a lot of research in different fields connected to vegetables. It shows, in everything from the myths regarding vegetables and their origins, to how some potentially dangerous vegetables must be treated to defang them, as it were.

She digs up old recipes—from Roman cookbooks and pioneer woman recipe books, besides others. She discusses the medicinal uses many of them outright ridiculous to which vegetables have been put, and the equally ridiculous accusations levelled against vegetables. Or that chlorophyll was touted as such a disguiser of foul smells that in the s, there was a chlorophyll craze sweeping industries, seemingly without discrimination.

But, there are things about this book that irked me. For one, Rupp takes a very American- and European-centric view of the vegetable world. Yes, there are mentions of how a vegetable especially those which originated in Africa, South America, or Asia was used or cultivated or what myths were attached to it, but once, historically speaking, the vegetable arrives in the US, its significance in the rest of the world, as far as Rupp is concerned, seems to grind to a halt.

She goes into detail about the number of cultivars grown by Jefferson at his estate in Monticello; she goes on and on about how many cultivars were offered in which year by which American grower, and so on. Jefferson and the growers, after a while, got very tedious: it was one of the most boringly predictable parts of each chapter.

Also, some of the assertions were, to me, a little off. Celery is still characteristically eaten crisply raw completely negates the almost omnipresent role of celery as a basis for stocks, soups and stews in many cuisines, especially European and American. Despite those glitches, though, a fascinating and entertaining look at the world of vegetables. Nov 21, Stella rated it liked it. Funny and informative book about veggies. Great if you like trivia of common garden foods. Got a little long by the end, though.

Feb 18, Adam Hernandez rated it it was amazing. It was really interesting hearing all of these crazy stories about vegetables.

ISBN 13: 9781603429689

It really makes me appreciate them and it has actually encouraged me to eat more vegetables. Jun 23, Bat rated it liked it. I did not enjoy reading this book. Too long and deceiving to the reader.

I assumed it would be humorous from the catchy chapter titles and darling illustrations. Rethinking the book club. Nov 29, Mr. Blevins rated it really liked it. The book cover caught my attention immediately. I was intrigued by the title as my freshman English classes were in the middle of reading the Odyssey. Each chapter focuses on one vegetable and how it has shaped the Western world's table.

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Rupp dug deep to find interesting and weird stories about each vegetables' brief spot in the limelight. I also reread the carrot ch The book cover caught my attention immediately. I also reread the carrot chapter 3 times and never found the story of "How Carrots Won the Trojan War. Dec 31, Lisa rated it really liked it.

I tend to enjoy books with lots of fun little factoids, and this unpretentious and funny little volume did not disappoint. I read one chapter each week and made a rule that I had to buy the vegetable in the chapter I was reading whenever I went to the grocery store. Jan 07, Katina rated it really liked it.

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The facts come fast and furious. The author has collected unusual and unheard of anecdotes about twenty edible plants. From her book, we learn not only about the impact of certain vegetables and fruit on historic events but also about the effect of these plants on the lives of prominent players in the narrative of our civilization. I found myself eager to finish reading about one plant, in order to discover what the author might reveal about another.

Think of a popular edible plant and Dr. Rupp has an interesting story about it, from how asparagus seduced the King of France, to how celery contributed to Casanovas conquests.

Rebecca Rupp How Carrots Won the Trojan War | Northshire Bookstore

Before discovering these nuggets of information, I did not know how peppers won the Nobel Prize or how an eggplant made a holy man faint. Most interesting, was to learn that lettuce could put an insomniac to sleep. Oddly enough, as soon as I got into the book — and that happened immediately - I became as interested in the author as I was in the text.

After all, who writes about the historical significance of carrots, anyway? And why? Who is this writer?

How did she accumulate so much fascinating information on the influence of plants on human activity? Rebecca Rupp holds a PhD in cell biology and biochemistry. In addition, she writes a monthly column for "Home Education Magazine". By homeschooled her three sons, Dr. Rupp has first-hand knowledge that kids respond best to scientific information when it is presented in a manner that is fun, lively, and offbeat. To help her children keep their attention focused, she combined impeccable science with strange-but-true examples and exciting experiments and projects designed to reinforce important concepts.

No, I cannot reveal the military secrets of this root vegetable. Interested readers will have to obtain a copy of the book to discover that information for themselves.