Jane Grigson's Fruit Book

by Jane Grigson

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Original Publisher
Atheneum Publishers
Date of publication

Recommended by

Michele Cranston

Food stylist and magazine food editor

As a recipe writer, there are some books that become constants in your life, and this is one of them. It may be an encyclopaedic collection of fruit recipes but it is also an ode to the wonders of fruit and to the stories that surround many a family favourite. I love perusing the pages, chuckling over old fashioned puddings, being surprised by unsung heroes of the orchard and kitchen and being inspired to create a modern twist on a long forgotten tart, pie or pud.

Susan Campbell

Writer and lllustrator

Perhaps unusual fruits were easier to find by the time this book was published (1982) but it’s still rare to find recipes for exotics such as carambolas, feijoas, cornelian cherries or sapodillas. The format, as in the Vegetable Book is alphabetical, and the dishes are accompanied with intriguing little histories of the ingredients, the chefs who use them, and the gardens from which they come.

Diana Henry

Award-winning food writer and author. Columnist at The Sunday Telegraph

My favourite of all Grigson’s books. She weaves no-nonsense advice together with personal opinion, learning and a love of literature and art. And she always sounds approachable (she wears her learning very lightly). Each essay grabs you from the start. Her vegetable book is just as good but I have a penchant for fruit.

Kate Young

Blogger and cookbook author

Having grown up in a tropical climate, it wasn’t until I moved to the UK that I discovered the joy of seasonal eating. England, and English fruit in particular, was a revelation. I also discovered Jane Grigson. Her writing is erudite and thoughtful, and made the discovery of each new fruit that much more of a pleasure.

Josceline Dimbleby

Food writer

I met Jane in 1976 when I’d just brought out my first cookery book A Taste of Dreams and we remained close friends until her death. She was wonderfully encouraging to me in the early days and sometimes used my recipes, with acknowledgement of course, in books of hers so that they reached a wider public.

Sally Vincent

Blogger at Raining Sideways

I find Jane Grigson’s knowledge and style captivating. I have learnt not only about cooking fruit from this book but also a huge amount of history in general. For this reason I love all her books; so much more than just recipe books, they are a pleasure simply to sit and read with a glass of wine!

Olivia Potts

Food writer

I defy anyone to read Grigson and not fall in love with food writing as a whole. I love the scope of food writing here: from the fairytale-like description of strawberries to the resentful, acerbic rhubarb chapter, every page is a masterclass in how to write about food well.

Nigella Lawson

Author, journalist, broadcaster and television personality

I struggled between choosing this or her Vegetable Book, but in either (and indeed in all her work) Jane Grigson is an unparalleled writer: she brings taste, charm, erudition, wisdom; hers is the most civilised voice in food writing.

Cat Black

Food writer

Of all Jane Grigson's classic books this is the one I use most. I am a pastry chef at heart, and this is my starting point for whenever I set out for information or ideas, no matter what the fruit.

Jacqui Pickles


Fruit Book: Jane Grigson Helped me round the world when cooking for clients abroad and not knowing what would be on the market until I got there (Vegetable book too)

Jenny Chandler

Food writer

Grigson's writing is glorious, I'd love to have The Vegetable Book on my list too, but this is the most dog-eared of the two which says it all.

John Becker

Food publisher

We are equally enamored of her book on vegetables and appreciate the wealth of information, historical anecdotes, and thoughtful recipes.

Rachel Laudan

A Food Historian Cooks

For its intelligence, lyrical writing, and fine recipes. Also the Vegetable Book or Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery

Valeria Necchio

Cookbook author

Same as her Vegetable Book, but on fruit, thus even more exciting for those who, like me, are fond of fruit dessert.

Jennifer McLagan


History, solid information and excellent recipes. I love Jane Grigson I want all of her books in this list.

Alison Lea-Wilson

Sea salt producer

Invaluable for preserving and otherwise enjoying the fruits from our garden and hedgerows.

Lauraine Jacobs

Author and columnist

Beautifully written and filled with lovely recipes.

Joyce Molyneux


All the essays before the recipes are enthralling.

Hayley Anderton

Blogger at Desperate Reader

For opening up a whole world of food and history.

Pam Corbin

Food writer and jam specialist

Catherine Pantsios

Chef and culinary educator

Gerhard Jenne

Creator of Konditor & Cook

Emily Luchetti

Chief Pastry Officer Big Night Restaurant Group

Fiona Cairns


Justin Gellatly

Co founder and Master Baker at Bread Ahead

Naomi Duguid

Writer and photographer

Mark Diacono

Food Writer

Sarah Randell

Food writer and marmalade producer

Jeremy Lee

Executive Chef Patron, Quo Vadis, Soho

John Wilkins

Emeritus Professor