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Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide (Atlas Obscura)

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Dylan Thuras is the cofounder and creative director of Atlas Obscura, as well as a co-author of Atlas Obscura and The Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid. Learn about a mind-boggling array of Mexican candy, the bouncy meatballs of the Chaoshan region of China and a rare coffee, planted near giant mossy trees, in Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains National Park. No – in that it’s a big and beautiful hardback about food that has come out just in time for Christmas. Like I posted in my status, this is Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods for readers with many fewer testicles than the television show. There is also a smattering of recipes – though they are surprisingly tame (Finnish mustard, Korea’s budae jjigae) and frustratingly not listed together in the index, meaning you are left to stumble upon them in the course of your reading.

It showcases surprising sustenance, stellar dining establishments, shocking flavors, riveting rituals, chef ingenuity, astonishing history, fantastical lore and practical know-how gathered from seven continents, more than 120 countries and all 50 United States.Not quite as good as Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders, but still a decent book of food facts. A modern-day oyster vending machine in France shares a page with cocaine-laced wine of the late 19th century, as do a cow’s head barbecue in Texas and a potato doughnut from Utah. As much as this book brings the world history of food to your table, there are so many things to explore about the land, people and the ingredients that make food so important in our lives.

I get that there are economic and publishing constraints, but I found myself coming to the end of each entry and wanting more, a whole lot more. Festivals - chase a wheel of double Gloucester at Britain's annual Cooper's Hill cheese rolling competition.From the ever-curious minds behind Atlas Obscura, this breathtaking guide takes us on a whirlwind tour of more than 500 unexpected dishes and fascinating culinary traditions from around the world. I think the best thing about a book like this is just how much you can learn- there were so many things in this book that I had no idea about, and this is coming from someone who had read on the topic of strange and wonderful foods before.

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