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When travellers encounter 'life changing' tastes...
on 7 December 2013
This book, edited by food writer James Oseland, describes the moments when travellers encounter 'life changing' tastes. The travellers in question are 34 chefs, food writers or just writers, some of whom I'd heard of - Giles Coren, Jay Rainer, Kuai Hart Hemmings, Madhur Jaffrey - most of the others I hadn't heard of as the book seems mainly aimed at the American market, although to be fair there are contributors from several countries. (The Alan Rickman who appears here is a food writer and not the actor!) The stories are relatively short, 7-9 pages on average, and begin with a short biography of the author - "Daniel Vaughn is the barbecue editor of the Texas Monthly Magazine and author of 'The prophets of smoked meats: a journey through Texas barbecue'..."
Although I am not really a 'foodie' I did enjoy the book and found it interesting, even though just the concept of 'life changing tastes' makes my hackles rise. There is a great variety in the stories from writers who play it for laughs, to those who describe surprising discoveries and those sharing their heart-felt culinary and travel enthusiasms. As is the case with similar books, some stories are very engaging, funny or genuinely inspiring while others are just annoying and reinforce my prejudices against foodies as people with too much money and time on their hands. However, this is a good book to dip in and out of - if one story doesn't appeal the next one probably will- and it would make great holiday reading or an interesting Christmas present for a foodie friend. Three and a half stars.