The Food Explorer: The Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats by Daniel Stone

Read by the author, with the recording produced by Penguin Audio

Reviewed by Ryan Paul Winn

A century before travel shows began enticing Americans with cuisine from afar, David Fairchild was touring the world in search of plants that would change the national diet. Daniel Stone’s text is a charming study of the Gilded Age food explorer whose shamefully unsung legacy includes introducing Americans to avocados, cashews, nectarines, soy beans—and Egyptian cotton. Stone’s admiration for Fairchild is apparent in his colorful text and excitable performance, the results of which are delightful. Stone’s audiobook affirms that David Fairchild’s mixture of curiosity and wanderlust invigorated American agriculture while revolutionizing the American palate.


Ryan Paul Winn is a columnist and media critic who’s rarely without an audiobook or his earbuds. When not writing or teaching in the Liberal Studies department at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin, he can be found researching overlooked history in local and national archives.