Cheerfully offering themselves to passersby, berries have been juicy staples of the human diet for millennia. They are good luck charms and amulets to some, portents of doom to others. They inspire everything from lip gloss flavors to amusement parks (Knott's Berry Farm, anyone?)--but eat some varieties and your days will be numbered. We create special bowls and spoons for their presentation and consumption, and without them, there would be no Neapolitan ice cream, and jam would be nothing but a marmalade (though oranges are technically berries, too). However diminutive their stature, berries are of such significance to Northern and Eastern Europeans that picking them in the wild is deemed "everyman's right," an act interwoven with cultural identity.

In Berries, Heather Arndt Anderson uncovers the offbeat stories of how humans came to love these tiny, bewildering fruits. Readers meet the inventor of thornless brambles; learn ancient fables and berry-lore; discover berries' uses in both poisonous witches' brews and modern superfood health crazes. Featuring a selection of historic and original recipes for berry lovers to try, this is a witty and lushly illustrated ramble through the curious history of our favorite fruits, from interlopers like strawberries (not true berries) to the real deal: tomatoes.

Publication Date: 
April 15, 2018