One of my evergreen hit attractants, which favorably recounts the reading experience for an August 2002 issue of The New Yorker and highlights The Fruit Detective by John Seabrook, today generated an interesting query.

My husband is under the impression that there is a book out there called The Fruit Detective that he saw in CBS Sunday Morning. I can’t find it.
Is there a book?

I have no connection to either Mr. Karp or Mr. Seabrook, but the idea that Mr. Seabrook might have expanded his delightful article to a book intrigued me so I did some digging.

I suspected that author Seabrook might very well have embarked on such a course, but did not find reference to it on his considerably updated website. I did find, joyfully, that he’d posted his original story.

CBS Sunday Morning for December 7, 2003 does not appear to record such a story. However, it’s wildly difficult to determine if there is a comprehensive program and segment listing for the show in question. This page, when I linked to it, looked as though it was such a listing; yet the title-bar header for the page said, ‘December 5, 2003’ and the URL, apparently reflecting a date-oriented scheme, says in part ‘1998/07/09.’

The listing does refer to a rerun of a late-November segment called “Fruit of the Vine;” but that’s about winemaking.

So what does Amazon tell us, then? Nothing. Google reveals that Mr. Karp has been writing for various food-world outlets over the past year, but again, alas, no hint of a book.

I shall lodge an enquiry with Mr. Seabrook.

(UPDATE: Answer here)

One thought on “Sleuthing the mythical 'Fruit Detective' book

  1. Not certain how relevant this may seem:
    David Karp has been featured (as reported in this site) on “California’s Heartland”– (it airs on PBS tv in CA). Mr. Karp cuts quite a figure in his pith helmet & fruit farmer boots.
    may be the best source to find out about an upcoming or existing book by David Karp

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