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Review: Laszlo, Citrus

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Citrus: A History, the latest from chemist and author Pierre Laszlo, is a fascinating historical study of the culinary and cultural phenomenon of the citrus. Writing for the UK’s Financial Times, Ian Irvine’s recent review delivers a succinct and enthusiastic summary of Laszlo’s new work:

Pierre Laszlo’s short but brilliant book ranges over citrus’s eventful history and describes its global importance in agriculture, industry, religion, painting, literature, nutrition and architecture. He also provides some excellent recipes.… Laszlo is a professor of chemistry and author of a fine history of salt. His scientific explanations—the fruit’s importance as a source of vitamin C, for example—are excellent, but he is also equally lucid in other fields: the purpose of the orangery at the palace of Versailles; the role of the peeled lemon in Dutch still-lifes; and why the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles requires an etrog citron.

You can read the rest of Irvine’s review online at the or check out six citrus recipes from Laszlo’s book online at the UCP website.