Seriously? I Read That?

Review: Can You Trust a Tomato in January? by Vince Staten

Posted on: January 6, 2009

Can You Trust a Tomato in January? by Vince Staten
1993, Simon & Shuster. 239 pages. Includes an index.

Can You Trust a Tomato in January? purports to explain “the mysteries of the supermarket”. Not being entirely familiar with these so-called mysteries, I was eager to find out what, exactly, Mr. Staten classified as a supermarket mystery. Though, I needn’t have read beyond the cover the find that out, as the cover asks the following litany of banal questions:

What do they put in Cool Whip?
Why doesn’t peanut butter stick to the roof of your mouth anymore?
Are stackable potato chips in a can for real?
Who invented Jell-O?
What do graham crackers have to do with sex?

Ok, I’ll admit that last one is sort of intriguing, even if it isn’t really a mystery.

Can You Trust a Tomato in January? is set up as a narrated tour of the author’s local Winn Dixie supermarket with frequent (and unfortunately, often abrupt) transitions to third person reporting of facts, figures, and anecdotes. Also included are separate text boxes titled “Folklore” that add a little extra trivial information.

Published in 1993, the information is at times understandably dated, especially in regard to prices and food technology. However, none of that really takes away from the book’s main purpose, which is not really to explain mysteries, but to give mini, easily digestible history lessons on popular food brands, supermarkets, and even a few food trends.

Can You Trust a Tomato in January? is a quick and informative read. Not a ground breaking work by any means, but it is entertaining and I’m sure most readers could learn a thing or two from this book.

Rating: 3.5 anti-lust graham crackers out of 5.

Book 1 of 3 for the Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge

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1 Response to "Review: Can You Trust a Tomato in January? by Vince Staten"

[…] choices: have a food name in the title- Can You Trust a Tomato in January? by Vince Staten have a place name in the title- The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff be about one (or more) […]

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Books That Go Bump in the Night- Halloween and scary books for kids and teens. My other blog.


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