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Download The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes epub

by Tom Parker Bowles

"A bracingly funny writer…Whether he's choking down dog stew in Korea or sipping cobra bile in China, Parker Bowles imbues his odyssey with self-deprecatory wit and sensitivity that make this travelogue a rare treat."--Entertainment Weekly

Tom Parker Bowles is a fiend for great flavor, and does not shy away from strange-looking, spicy, or otherwise "dangerous" foods whether in London or halfway around the world. Raised with a taste for fresh, simply prepared foods, he nevertheless was always intrigued by "exotic" foods, especially the kinds found in America--no Spanish or French food for him, thank you! "A chili freak who always carries a bottle of Tabasco" (People), Tom is no food snob.

His journey took him from the potentially lethal―fugu, the infamous poisonous blowfish ―to the merely nauseating to the unexpectedly delectable. As he traveled through Asia and Europe, guided by friends and locals, he warily ate dog, snake, insects, offal, and a variety of sea creatures. In the United States, he ignored warnings from those who knew better as he eagerly stuffed himself with much too much barbecue in Tennessee and some of the hottest of the hot sauces at The National Fiery Foods Show in New Mexico. "Smart, stylish, erudite and hip in a sardonic, unmistakably limey sense--like a lost son of Nigella Lawson and Eddie Izzard" (Radar), Tom Parker Bowles makes even a cringe-worthy meal worth the trip.

Download The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes epub
ISBN: 0312531036
ISBN13: 978-0312531034
Category: Cookbooks
Subcategory: Cooking Education & Reference
Author: Tom Parker Bowles
Language: English
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (August 19, 2008)
Pages: 400 pages
ePUB size: 1198 kb
FB2 size: 1444 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 609
Other Formats: docx txt rtf lrf

Lack of dangerous eating. Has a lot of information but I don't see how judging a bbq contest is dangerous. The guy is obviously a food writer but has never worked with food. The entire chapter on chile's was about hot sauces not the actual chile's. A disappointment and lack of dangerous food.
A quirky and interesting volume. . . .Tom Parker Bowles takes time out of his life to search out "extreme food," to engage in culinary adventures. In his words, this book is about (page xx) ". . .a fascination with the world's diverse cuisines." He (page xx) "wanted to sample everything however gruesome, to try and establish some kind of culinary context." And the book features much information (even wittily presented) about cultures throughout the world, as an even greater context for cuisine.

Places that he explores include England, New Mexico, China, Nashville, Tokyo, Korea, Laos, Spain, and Sicily. Sometimes, he experiences genuine surprise, in that Laos clearly represents one of his best eating stops--much against what he had guessed. And, to repeat, it is witty. I was actually laughing as he serves as a judge at a barbeque context in Lynchburg Tennessee (although the chapter is entitled Nashville!). He describes the disappointment at poor products, prepared lovingly by cooks; he revels in the delights that were cooked to perfection.

Other chapters, to exemplify his treatment. In Laos, he began with rather low expectations. He describes weird dishes (at least weird to Westerners), such as live shrimp as a kind of salad--looking horrific and tasting great. He ate in Vientiane and in Luang Prabang, experiencing very different cuisine; however, he enjoyed and appreciated each. And, as always, he provides history, refers to written works on the country, and surrounds his discussion of the food with an appreciation of the larger society.

His description of cities in New Mexico is quite negative, and presented in a manner that aficionados will call witty and New Mexico residents snide. Nonetheless, he is there for the The National Fiery Foods and Barbeque Show in Albuquerque. He had always enjoyed chili and other hot foods. So he was desperate to check out a well known (at least to him) festival in New Mexico. Again, his writing is hilarious as he talks about eating some chili dish that is way hotter than he would have wanted. The richness of the discussion of chili and other hot substances and the experts who gathered at the festival is really quite compelling.

Then, the story of elvers. . . . But enough of the specifics. Readers can explore the pages of this volume and determine which episodes are most interesting. I would recommend this book as much for its depiction of cultures and the food as part of these cultures as for its description of some generally strange foods. A nice read.
The Apotheoses of Lacspor
Not what I expected.
Actually, Mr Parker-Bowles' book goes far deeper than my trite title. He really provides a cultural backdrop during each trip and the reasons behind his culinary explorations for that country. I found his perceptions and experiences funny, educational, and drool-worthy.
Arrived quickly and in great condition. This is a great book, very well written and changes how you think about the food we eat.
This is a terribly written book written by a well-to-do who really knows nothing about life as you and I know it.

Save your dinero.
A great read, in my opinion.

'Eating Dangerously' is, first, generally well-written for a book of its kind, with good, straightforward formatting and a similarly pleasing narrative, as to be both functional and easy to read. Likewise, the author writes with an intelligent, levelheaded, and perceptive voice, threaded with just the right amount of personality and quiet wit -- appropriate to a piece of travel writing, as it were. These qualities, combined with an irreverence that's tempered with moments of candid humility, rendered the book highly readable for me, avoiding the awkwardness and imbalance that sometimes haunts first-person writing. So, in a literary sense, 'Eating Dangerously' is, in my judgment, a success.

As far as content goes, the book is equally substantial, and on several levels. I enjoyed it from the outset, simply as a travelogue and a meal diary; the book is rich enough in these areas alone to be worthwhile. However, Mr. Bowles's adventures offer much more of interest, from the historical and cultural backgrounds included for each destination, to the anthropological and human studies presented by their dietary customs and related institutions, all the way to economics and philosophy and politics and beyond. Really, the book provides, indirectly, a study of mankind at large, since so much can be gleaned from the microcosms of travel and food (especially when so diverse and well-documented). Ultimately, the book illustrates the profound and complicated relationship between man and sustenance, in which the palate expresses deep psychologies and reflects conditions of perception and consciousness, and food and its preparation can be just as sacred and ceremonial as religious worship -- fascinating stuff, for my tastes (no pun intended). What's more, 'Eating Dangerously' is the story of a man being shaped by his culinary experiences, with unexpected growth and insight the result. (Plus, for those looking for the "yuck-factor" in stories about foreign and uncommon foods: yep, there's some of that in here, too, as to add some good old-fashioned amusement to the mix.)

In the end, this one engaged me from beginning to end, and I finished it feeling quite satisfied and enriched (not unlike a nourishing-yet-delicious meal, as it were). Thus, five stars.

My sincere thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.

* * *
Some notable quotes from 'The Year of Eating Dangerously':

"OK, so I imagined that the odd dog steak or insect salad might be testing, but nothing I couldn't handle. I had spent ten years in the public school system, for God's sake ..." -- p.111

"Thanks, in part, to the rantings of the tabloid press, Korea is a place where 'How much is that doggie in the window' is a precursor to dinner rather than the start of a popular song." -- p.204

"What seems so glorious and primal on [television] is rendered ugly by real life." -- p.321-322, in regards to the author's firsthand experience with the Italian Mafia

"I leave the [Mafia-run] island chastened and a little embarrassed. Just over a week ago, I was blissfully unaware of my ignorance. I really believed the hoary old stereotype, another hack in search of romanticised violence, codes of honour and corrupt politicians. By the time I leave, though, I am utterly confused. The surface has been barely scratched and that convenient black and white -- the moral and historical certainty of those endless books and movies -- is revealed to be a million different shades of grey." -- p.366