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Food: A Taste of the Road (Travelers' Tales) [Paperback]

By Richard Sterling (Editor)
Our Price $ 16.11  
Retail Value $ 18.95  
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Item Number 292665  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   472
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 19, 2002
Publisher   Travelers' Tales
ISBN  1885211775  
EAN  9781885211774  
UPC  692077211771  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
In this revised and updated edition of Food -- Silver Medal winner of the Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book -- the world is revealed through the medium of cuisine. Join such top writers as M. F. K. Fisher, P. J. O'Rourke, Colin Thubron, Ginu Kamani, Simon Loftus, and Gary Paul Nabhanon on culinary quests of all kinds: dine with locals in Casablanca on a determined pilgrimage for an authentic meal; encounter a mysterious prankster in a garden in the South of France; and go crabbing under the stars on a romantic night in the Caribbean. "Here are feasts for the hungry ... writing wrapped around our stomachs, our hearts, and our sense of place." --- Los Angeles Times

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More About Richard Sterling

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! RICHARD STERLING IS AN AUTHOR of and contributor to numerous cookbooks and guidebooks covering California, Latin America, and Asia. Richard is well known in the Bay Area for his varied and eclectic accomplishments.

Richard Sterling currently resides in Berkeley, in the state of California. Richard Sterling was born in 1952.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Gastronomy > Essays   [237  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Regional & International > International   [202  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Writing > Travel   [1460  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Essays & Travelogues   [2349  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Savor every morsel of this delicious book!  May 8, 2006
As a new, first-time parent, I expected that my poor, sleep-deprived brain wouldn't be fully capable of the sensory imagination that would make this book worthwhile.

But the first story transported me immediately with its introductory account of the narrator landing in southern Mexico: the opening of the plane door is "as if the stewardess had opened the door of a blast furnace fueled by jasmine, corn husks, bacon grease, and Clorox bottles." What a striking medley of aromas, and what a spot-on take on what it feels like to land in a strange place with your senses on full alert. Everyone who has fully experienced the excitement of travel can imagine the mindset of the narrator, the way that we become so stimulated by our new, strange surroundings, almost like being a child again.

That is essentially what gave this the potential to be a fantastic book. For it combines three aspects of the world that can make life more immediate and powerful: travel, with its capacity to turn us all into wide-eyed kids; food, with its tastes and smells and rituals that may comfort or stimulate us; and literature, the sheer joy of words, and the electric spark one feels when one reads great writing.

I say "potential" because it took great writing to turn the concept into a successful reality. At the risk of gushing, I literally felt a surge of happiness as I read this book, simply because of my aesthetic pleasure over how well almost every story was written. Not that my pleasure was unmixed with a bit of humility; travel brings out the literary genius in so many people, this book caused me to despair a bit over ever writing as well as so many others do. It was even interesting to read the little author profiles at the end of each section, and to see what types of nomadic, improvised lives many of these fine writers are leading.

I am a great fan of the Travelers' Tales series, but this just might be their best book yet (I have raved about a few other volumes on this site, but readers of my other reviews may want to consult the review dates to see which have been supplanted by this one.)

The selections are almost universally strong; most anthologies contain a few weak selections, but this one had very few, and even those were enjoyable enough. I would single out the following pieces as exceptional: "Apron Strings" (quoted above), "Breaking Bread," "Bananas," "India on an Empty Stomach," "The Monsoon Cocktail," and "Momos at Tashi's."

"Bananas" is a story of the kindness of strangers, but I loved it mainly because it conveys how the tropics can make a Coca-Cola more refreshing than you ever thought possible. I related to "Momos" because of the way the author separated herself from group festivities while abroad, leaving herself available for a more meaningful, individual connection. "The Monsoon Cocktail" made me want to book a seat on the train that it describes, but I loved it most for the way it conveys how a fulfilling trip can linger in comforting memory; the author, caught in a monsoon during a SE Asia train trip, forever after associates the beating of raindrops with that cherished memory. And this happens to all travelers, I suspect; these associations become as powerful and comforting for us as those that connect us to early childhood.

I could easily have written a much longer list of favorite selections. I indulge a silly quirk as I read the Travelers' Tales books; after each group of five stories, I rank them in my journal, and at the end of the entire volume, I then try to pick out the 5-10 that I like the most for future reference. Boy was that tough in this instance, as there were easily a dozen stories that I hope to read repeatedly.

My advice to readers; don't swallow this one down too fast. Read it slowly, repeat the good parts, and milk the experience for all it's worth. Savor!
Food: A Taste of the Road  Oct 31, 2003
One of the fears of the personal essayist is the possibility of having the readers mutter, "Who cares about your opinions or travels."

Richard Sterling, editor of Food: A Taste Of The Road was certainly ambitious when he put together no less than 49 short essays concerning the inter-relation of food and travel.
Sterling in his choice of essays endeavours to avoid this pitfall and to a great extent succeeds.

Food is often the common denominator that promotes contact between peoples and cultures.
As mentioned in the preface, "the collection furthers the proposition that humanity is revealed through cuisine just as surely as it is through any other art or social activity."

Within the opening pages of this delightful anthology of essays, you immediately discover a world globe with numbers from 1 to 49 scattered in all directions.

These numbers are linked to corresponding essays and names of localities that are listed at the bottom of the page.
With this guideline we are able to pick and choose where we want to go and as we are reminded,
Napoleon said of the army, "we travel on our stomachs."

Perhaps you are interested in breaking bread in Egypt? If so, you may want to read Mark Gruber's story when he traveled to Egypt in a Land Rover from one dessert monastery to another. After his Land Rover broke down, he found himself as a guest of a Bedouin family who could not stop feeding him.

How about travelling to Florence with Tanya Monia and sitting at a table with a transsexual?
Do you like to eat salmon heads? Join Sandy Polishuk as she travels with a group of people, whom she describes as standing out from the others "like the cast of a drag show at a Rotary Club luncheon." She even elaborately describes the enjoyment of sucking the eyes of the salmon!
No wonder her eccentric culinary desires were the butt of many jokes.

Rajendra S. Khadka recounts how the caste system in Nepal dictates how food is to be eaten among the servants and guests.
On a more sombre note, P.J. O'Rourke gives us a glimpse of the tragedy of Somalia where famine reigns and where guns seemed to have replaced food.

As the editor states, "you will not put this book down and think of food, or travel, or travel literature, in quite the same way again. And you will say, yes, of course. It was there all the time, in all of my journeys, I simply never acknowledged it."

This review first appeared on the reviewers' own site

Great for Traveling Eaters  Apr 21, 2002
A lot of fun to read; a couple dozen short stories about eating around the world. Nothing too serious or thought-provoking, but a nice book to relax with. It will make you want to take a vacation, though!

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