March 24, 2011

Oranges, by John McPhee

I don't have much to say about this one. David Lebovitz recommended it, so I picked it up and was surprised to find it was published in the 1960s. This means that the author says such things as "American housewives are afraid of blood oranges", and the men featured (and they're all men) wear straw fedoras with madras plaid bands and say jaunty things. It also means that concentrated orange juice is the largest market for fresh oranges, and McPhee is unable to get a glass of fresh orange juice in Florida. Unthinkable. It's a very interesting look at another time, but there are still some timeless facts in here about the history of oranges (ladies in France used to bite into limes to redden their lips) and how they grow (they're sweeter depending on what side of the tree they grow on.) I liked it.

1 comment:

brie said...

I read this a couple of years ago for a book club that didn't every really materialize. Anyhow, I enjoyed it. I thought it was quite interesting. I grew up drinking orange juice from concentrate in the 1980s and I don't know if I ever even considered fresh-squeezed as an alternative! It was more like a quaint, cute thing that people did in the movies. Now I can't imagine drinking the concentrated stuff regularly.