Series: Lonely Planet Travel Literature
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Lonely Planet; 1 edition (October 1, 2010)
From bat on the island of Fais to chicken on a Russian train to barbecue in the American heartland, from mutton in Mongolia to couscous in Morocco to tacos in Tijuana – on the road, food nourishes us not only physically, but intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually too. It can be a gift that enables a traveler to survive, a doorway into the heart of a tribe, or a thread that weaves an indelible tie; it can be awful or ambrosial – and sometimes both at the same time. Celebrate the riches and revelations of food with this 38-course feast of true tales set around the world.
Features stories by Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, Mark Kurlansky, Matt Preston, Simon Winchester, Stefan Gates, David Lebovitz, Matthew Fort, Tim Cahill, Jan Morris and Pico Iyer. Edited by Don George.
This was the June book club choice @ The Kitchen Reader, and I’m so glad it was because I’d have never bought the book on my own.
The book is a short story collection about food and travel. Since I love reading about both, I couldn’t wait to read this book Each chapter tells of a certain situation the author experienced with food and travel.
All the stories were interesting, some more than others, but each gives a look into what the food and places are like across the world.
One of my favorite stories was about a young girl and her boyfriend who backpacked their way through Europe. The author, Emily Matchar loved learning about the food in the different places they went to, but her boyfriend Peter was content to eat from a jar of peanut butter he’d put in his backpack while packing. She loved talking to the locals, he did not. So, in the end they went their separate ways, but still keep in touch from time to time.
What intrigued me most about this particular story was that Peter was on a trip most of us would give anything to take, and there he was content to be a loner and eat peanut butter from home. I love peanut butter too, but come on!! Emily was dining on lentil curry at a Pakistani restaurant while Peter ate “rubbery” cheese pizza from the kids menu. I can’t imagine not wanting to taste the foods of far away places. You can get pizza in the U.S. any time you want it. Don’t get me wrong, pizza is my favorite food, but I definitely wouldn’t order it over a lentil curry in Pakistan.
This book took me to places I’ll never be able to visit. It introduced me to the food of each place the authors visited.
Overall I loved this book. Learning more about the people and food of places across the world is something I really enjoy and this book has such a variety that I was engrossed all the way through.
This was the June pick for a book club, and I’m so glad it was because I’d have never bought the book on my own.
Would I recommend this book? Yes yes yes!! If you love food, love travel, or just want a quick light read, pick this up. I don’t think you’ll be sorry!