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Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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'Simon Majumdar knows his sh** . . . Plus - the bastard can write' (Anthony Bourdain, author of KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL)
'Majumdar writes like a dream and eats like a pig. It's a killer combination. Eat My Globe is a very funny, very hungry book, much like its author' (Jay Rayner)
'EAT MY GLOBE is part travelogue, part personal memoir, part food journal and part performance art, as Simon Majumdar travels the planet and consumes the full spectrum of cuisine - from the haute to the horrifying - establishing himself as the Indiana Jones for the foodie set' (Andrew Friedman, co-editor of DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME)
'Simon adores pulled pork, yet pulls no punches in this passionate, refreshingly honest and delicious journey. Travelling with him on his gut-busting world tour is a rollicking good time . . . Read only with a well-stocked fridge; you'll get hungry' (Kathleen Flinn, author of THE SHARPER YOUR KNIFE, THE LESS YOU CRY)
'EAT MY GLOBE is a culinary tour de force that mixes an infectious enthusiasm for the world of food with a celebration of the people who prepare it. Majumdar is without question the world's most enthusiastic gourmet. His love of eating - or rather, feasting - is so infectious that we never turned a page without feeling an overwhelming urge to eat great food, roam the Earth, and read another page' (Andrew Rimas and Evan Fraser, authors of BEEF)
'This book made me quite patriotic about our over-boiled vegetables and cauldrons of stew' (Sunday Express)
'A snappy and entertaining book ... although this is an account of Majumdar's international love affair with food, it's his deep affection for those with who he shares it that really nourishes the soul' (Daily Telegraph)
'Ballsy, often hilarious . . . His experiences and descriptions, however brief, of the global gastronomic sublime, such as his sunset supper in the Filipino countryside, are appetite-whetting, and his take-no-prisoners attitude and opinions match the project's ambitions. He champions street-food surprises over more urbane examples of cuisine, while his affection and gratitude for the individuals and families met and the hospitality received amply humanized both his wanderings and writings. Majumdar's comic-yet-brazen voice carries the reader swiftly and winningly from foul to fowl in a book that's funny and delectable' (Publishers Weekly)
'Excellent foodie travel memoir ... Majumdar is often genuinely funny and can spin a good story ... highly readable, and ofren highly entertaining but to be avoided if you are on a diet' (Clover Stroud, Sunday Telegraph)
'If you're a slave to your taste buds you'll love Eat My Globe' (Wanderlust)
One man's foodie trip of a lifetimeSee all Product description
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Problem 1: It isn't written particularly well, I'm sure his trips were memorable and exciting but the writing doesn't convey this.
Problem 2: The first food he covers in the book (Chapter 2: Britain and Ireland) is black pudding from Bury. He briefly mentions morcilla (Spain), boudin noir (France) and blutwurst (Germany) but dismisses them all saying Bury is the best.
So let's re-cap. This is a book about a man travelling the globe in search of the world's best food but before he's even left Britain he's already decided that the best black pudding/blood sausage can be found a short drive from his home in Rotherham? Really?
Problem 3: The chapters are all too short, telling you next to nothing about any of the locations, with the exception of India towards the end of the book (as he is half-Indian he spends a bit more time here).
Problem 4: There are factual errors, e.g. he refers to Casablanca as the capital of Morocco. Didn't the editor check that it's actually Rabat?
Problem 5: He finds pizza disgusting, referring to it as "snot on toast" so are we supposed to feel surprised when he then concludes that camel meat, cod sperm, dog, rat, fermented shark etc.are disgusting too?
If I was to describe this book flippantly:
The author went to China and discovered that Chinese food is better in China than it is in the UK.
The author went to Thailand and discovered that Thai food is better in Thailand than it is in the UK.
The author went to Mexico and discovered that Mexican food is better in Mexico than it is in the UK.
The author travelled the world eating things which sounded disgusting to him then confirmed that all were disgusting (remember that this is a person who considers pizza to be disgusting..!)
If you're looking for good books about worldwide food adventures then I'd recommend Jeffrey Steingarten's books instead.
Unfortunately Majumdar comes across as a bit of a bore, and a bit of an egocentric one at that.
His protestations of being hard up and on a tight budget ring hollow when its followed by mention of a world top 10 restaurant visit in Sydney (being hard up is not knowing how you're going to pay your bills Simon, not stressing about whether you can afford to dine out on a meal costing over £100 after flying half way round the world).
That's a minor annoyance though compared to the writing, its dull....dull dull dull, dull and uninvolving. Countries are covered in a couple of pages (poor Ireland) and the insights rarely rise above 'I ate X, I liked/didn't like it'. One restaurant visit (to the restaurant of a world famous chef) where the author had the 13 course tasting menu is summed up with a description of 1 dish and then 'there were 12 other dishes of varying quality' - no mention of what these other dishes were - Majumdar fails completely to convey anything of his experience.
We are introduced to numerous people but learn next to nothing about them, the author is so absorbed in himself they pass by with barely any further mention - in fact the author seems to have been so self obssessed he even forgot the most important part.......the food.
Sometimes on a long journey you get stuck next to someone you don't like, the good thing with this book is that - thankfully - you can put it down and move on to something else.
During his journey he samples regional dishes that almost make the mouth water just by reading about them, but then again he describes eating food that I wouldn't touch with a bargepole - he tries both braised dog AND stir fried rat in the same Chinese city. He isn't choosy about where he eats neither, granting as much importance to a back street market stall as he does to world famous restaurants, which he frequents in equal numbers.
This book isn't intended to be a comprehensive guide to the foods of the world's great cities because I doubt if some of the countries, like Finland or Iceland for example, would appear on many gourmets' wish- lists but that is much of the charm of the book. Like most travel books the best parts are about where something happens that is a little out of the ordinary, like being rescued from a mob at Dakar airport or mistakenly eating cod sperm at a sushi bar in Kyoto.
I really enjoyed this book and wished that I too could have sampled some of the meals that he enjoyed. The only problem I had with it was how on earth did he eat so much food? If I had eaten what the author did on his travels I am sure that I would have to have been pushed around in a wheelbarrow long before the end.
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