... darkly funny ... 'Deeply researched' doesn’t begin to describe how far into ancient texts and their subtexts, obscure cookbooks and corners of the internet Lebo excavated to tell us the stories of these fruits. What she digs up for each is often fascinating, sometimes juicy, rarely dry ... Along the way, we get morsels of memoir like carefully plucked trail berries. These glimpses reveal...the kind of truths you can’t find in a library ... brimming with obscure knowledge that’s going to loom over every gin martini I drink for the next decade, and there are fantastic recipes too ... These recipes include some of the book’s funniest moments ... This is where the fruit we used as a stand-in for depression, motherhood or a bad ex is transformed back into its original, edible self. The ingredients, like words, get thoughtfully measured and weighed and mixed into something delicious and meaningful. Or maybe it’s just a pie.
... [a] blend of richly researched food history, gentle memoir and left-field recipe book ... It would be a shame if this book didn’t attract readers without an existing curiosity in the subject, because Lebo brings as generous an eye to its broader topics – relationships, reproductive health, illness and death – as she does her fruits and their histories and uses, their beauty and their terror.
Lebo undertakes an intriguing creative exercise in this wonder-filled book ... While Lebo weaves in memoiristic notes, the fruits and their histories and uses take center stage, and each entry ends with a couple of narrative recipes for items both edible and not ... Lovers of food and nature writing will appreciate Lebo’s rangy, researched ode to wildness.