Books: Journeys

THE RIVER WORLD AND OTHER EXPLORATIONS by Berton Roueche

Harper & Row; 246 pages; $8.95

No subject seems beyond the interest or knowledge of Berton Roueché. An amateur gourmet, he writes lovingly of bananas, "the humblest fruit," but with their comprehensive range of minerals and protective germ-battling skin, a near perfect food. He delves into history to recount the tale of garlic (the early Greeks and Israelites learned about it from the Egyptians). He waxes more poetic about apples, rejecting the notion that this was the fruit forbidden to Adam and Eve. "The...

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