If you love legumes, then you have to look at a new book entitled Vilmorin: The Vegetable Garden. Published by Taschen, the plates comprise a stunning collection of large format print reproductions of the most amazing garden vegetables you’ll ever see. Vilmorin is the name of the world’s fourth largest seed purveyor ; the 250-year-old French firm is still in business, but it traces its roots (pun intended) back to the royal veggie garden of Louis XIV, who established the potager du roi at Versailles.
Louis XV, the Sun King’s successor, carried this garden on, and one of Vilmorin’s founders supplied all kinds of seeds to the royal gardeners there. The firm prospered in the 19th century, and beginning in the 1850s, Vilmorin distributed hand-painted color lithographic posters depicting its latest offerings, sweet strawberries, plump cucumber, leafy lettuces, and huge carrots and massive tubers as advertising.
My full review of the book can be seen on The Daily Beast website.