Book Review: The Land Where Lemons Grow


Have I mentioned before how much I absolutely love Italy? I'm pretty sure it's one of my favourite places, ever. The food, the weather, the people, the buildings, the history. I LOVE it. Helena Attlee's book all about citrus fruit in Italy consequently went straight onto my Amazon wishlist as soon as I read the synopsis. Luckily though I didn't have to wait for my next book order, as Robert bought it for me as a treat when we were in Waterstones the other month. He's the best! I've been really enjoying reading non-fiction recently, and as this was all about Italy it ticked all the boxes. The Land Where Lemons Grow uncovers the history of citrus fruit in Italy from it's introduction to Europe, through its relationship with the Mafia, and to modern day citrus farmers. It might sound a little dry and boring, but it is anything but. Attlee charts the growth of citrus fruits and the social history of Italy, which is interwoven with stories of her own travels around the country. I would probably best describe it as a food travel memoir as Attlee's own journey through Italy is heavily interwoven with the story of the citrus.

I absolutely loved reading this book from the moment I picked it up. Somehow just reading the first few pages made me feel like I was in Italy and simultaneously made me long to go back. I could almost smell the lemons and oranges through her vivid descriptions. Attlee even makes the horticultural process of growing lemons incredibly readable and interesting even if you're really not into that kind of thing. When thinking about Italy you can't ignore the food, which Attlee covers by including recipes that she either ate during her travels or found in her research. I think adding the recipes throughout the book was such a nice touch and I'm looking forward to trying out the citrus pasta and maybe making limoncello! I would heavily recommend this book, (especially if you love Italy) it was such an enjoyable read full of interesting snippets and history. It's made me super excited for our trip to Milan at the end of the month, I can't wait to be back in Italy!