Jun 282014


A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Encounters Around the World
by Don George

Series: Lonely Planet Travel Literature
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Lonely Planet; 1 edition (October 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1742202292
ISBN-13: 978-1742202297

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!

 Posted by at 3:47 PM

  21 Responses to “A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Encounters Around the World by Don George”

  1. Food and travel? Sounds good to me!

  2. Sounds like a really good read!

  3. … goes on the TBR, RIGHT NOW! Sounds like a lovely read. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. I love most of the authors mentioned in the summary. Sounds like a winner!

  5. Food and travel are the perfect combination!

  6. This does sound like a terrific book.

  7. sounds very good, glad you enjoyed it, it’s nice to travel without leaving the comfort of home.

  8. […] Vicki at I’d Rather Be At The Beach […]

  9. Eating is my favorite way of exploring a new area! I can’t imagine being Peter. I missed this book but plan to add it to my reading list. Sounds great!

  10. I also was mystified at the peanut butter eater. I guess I am moderately adventurous. I have a friend who will eat slugs if they are served to him. (And he has brought me back the pictures to prove it.) I don’t think I would go that far! But I love trying new foods, especially if I understand why they are valued in a certain place. And I love reading about those places and foods, as your previous commenter has said, you can travel without leaving home!

    • The strangest thing I’ve ever tried was squid, and I was surprised that I didn’t gag. I kind of liked it, but don’t know if I’ll eat it again.

  11. I have to agree that I understood what she was feeling that it was a deal breaker in not wanting to try new cultural experiences with the locals AND with the food. Even though my husband F is a vegetarian so is limited, he will still try new things. I can understand if you are at a foreign country for a long time suddenly having a craving- when I was in China for a couple months I did feel a need to get some cheese via nachos at Hard Rock Cafe, or a quarter pounder at McD- but for the most part was still eating stuff that I didn’t always know what it was!

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