Comments: Sponsored by Melissa's World Variety Produce, the leading distributor of specialty fruits and vegetables, and written by journalist Cathy Thomas, this book has lots of great information. Each entry includes a description (and often photo) of each fruit or vegetable, buying and storing information, when during the year it is available, how to prep it, a list of the most common uses for it, nutritional information, and serving suggestions – which often includes a complete recipe.
But the book does not quite live up to its subtitle: "Everything You Need to Know About Fresh Fruits and Vegetables." Various fruits and vegetables – both commonplace and exotic – are missing. Where are the apples? If you're going to cover peaches and pears, you might as well include apples. Where is the durian? Not that everyone will care, but where are the Brussels sprouts? Who knows what else is missing? We cannot discern a pattern for why some fruits and vegetables are included and others are not.
It is possible that some produce is included that we just can't find, because the index all but ruins the book. Do you know that ramps are a kind of leek? You can only find them by going to the leeks page – they're not listed in the index. Neither are hundreds of fruits and vegetables that are in the book. You have to know that spinach is found under greens and not under its own very well-known name, because it's not listed in the index. At the very least, the index makes this useless as a reference book; you either have to know which family a fruit or vegetable belongs to, or just have to hope to stumble upon the information you need.
The book would receive a higher rating, but a good index is a necessity in a reference book.