The Food Explorer, by Daniel Stone is a biography of David Fairchild, and our most recent Cook the Books Club selection, chosen and hosted by my fellow Hawaiian blogger, Deb of Kahakai Kitchen. The full title adds: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats." I enjoyed the book quite a bit, though this type of historic biography is outside my usual reading purview. Very informative however, despite some of it being a bit dry, there's enough to keep one interested, with all his travel adventures and mishaps, the variety of seeds, cuttings and plants Fairchild, as well as his protegee, Frank Meyer, and contemporary, Walter Swingle, were able to ship back to the US, or carry themselves.
From the Publishers: "The true adventures of David Fairchild, a late 19th-century food explorer who traveled the globe and introduced diverse crops like avocados, mangoes, seedless grapes - and thousands more - to the American plate
In the 19th century, American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater.