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University of Iowa News Release


July 23, 2010

At A Glance

Tomatoes are the focus of July 28 reading on the Writing University

Arthur Allen will read from "Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 28, in Prairie Lights book, 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The free event will be streamed live on the University of Iowa's Writing University website,

As savory as any vegetable and often as sweet as its fellow fruits, the tomato inspires a cult-like devotion from food lovers on all continents. The people of Ohio love the tomato so much they made tomato juice the official state beverage. An annual food festival in Spain draws thousands of participants in a 100-ton tomato fight. The versatile tomato has conquered the cuisines of Spain and Italy, and in America it is the most popular garden vegetable.

Journalist Allen combines reportage, archival research and many anecdotes in a narrative that, through the lens of today’s global market, tells a story that resonates from greenhouse to dinner table.

Allen is also the author of "Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine's Greatest Lifesaver."


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