Posts Tagged ‘travel & food’

book cover

Endless Feasts Cover.

Endless Feasts — Sixty Years of Writing from Gourmet

  • Ruth Harkness munching on exotic pheasants left in a Tibetan Lamasery by monks fleeing the Chinese invaders in 1944 because that’s all the food she had.
  • Novelist Pat Conroy in Umbria rediscovering the food and sights through the eyes of his new mate.
  • The demise of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York as told by Louis DiaGou, the chef who was ran the kitchen in 1910 when the hotel opened and was still there when it closed in 1950.

These are just three of the 41 narratives from  the late, great Gourmet magazine.  My grandmother wrote a few articles for Gourmet in the 1940s-early 50s.

I wonder…. do travelers possess innately complex palates that drive them to sample the world’s cuisines?  Or, does travel expose people to exotic — perhaps fresher — ingredients, unusual preparations and intriguing cultural traditions?

The interplay between food and travel is logical.  Go traveling and you’ll be foraging, whether at the street market in Ho Chi Min City, the Ritz in Paris,  a Bayou gumbo shack,  or at Havana, North Dakota’s community run Farmer’s Inn.

Travelers do develop faith in food; a meal is reward for a long day or night’s journey.  Sometimes the story is how grand that  meal; other times, how bad, and the aftermath.  These stories are nearly all about  the great meals and the iconoclasts who cooked them.  A few stories include recipes.

Details on the book: Edited and with an introduction by Ruth Reichl. Modern Library, 2002. 401 pages, no index, $24.95

A similar version of this article appeared in the  Bloomsbury Review.

Advertisements
Market in Guanajuato Mexico

Market in Guanajuato Mexico

Travel offers opportunity to try foods you might normally not see in your local market.  Wherever you go, visit the local grocery store, farmer’s market or street vendor.  In Guanajuato, there’s a vast two level city market built with great style and flair.  Navigate up the iron steps to the galleria on the top level where you can look down on the passing scene  then stroll around to buy Mexican candied delicacies, cacao, hammocks, clothes and every type of food.  On the streets around the market, small purveyors offer fruit at outdoor markets with prices marked on boards or called out by hawkers.

The delicate normal-sized strawberries sold during Spring carry stupendous taste.  Nothing sold in el Norte comes close for flavor intensity.

The Gastronomica Reader
Univ of California Press, 2010

What fun to find, by chance, that the Gastronomica Reader ,which includes my long article about Diana Kennedy and Mexican organic farming,  is featured in a biblio encyclopedia run by an Estonian webarian!  Fun because this connects directly to last week’s Wikimania 2012 in Washington, DC where I met the wikipedian from Estonia, Raul Veede.

Synchronicity and random serendipity are the indicators I follow in order to avoid the contrived pressures of marketing, crowd control, issues management, individual greed and social aggression.  Long live the randomness of the internet and the global volunteer efforts of wiki writers everywhere who are the activist-intellectual descendants of Thomas Paine.

Resource: Gastronomica, The Journal of Culture and Food.

Selected Reading List::Literary Non-Fiction, Biographical and Autobiographical  Writing  with a Culinary Focus

Aresty, Esther B.  The Delectable Past.  Simon and Schuster. 1964.

Beard, James.  Beard on Food. Alfred A. Knopf, 1974.

Behr, Edward. The Artful Eater. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1992.

Bemelmens, Ludwig.  La Bonne Table.  Simon and Schuster, 1964.

Brillat-Savarin, Anthelme.  The Physiology of Taste or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy.  Translated by M. F. K. Fisher.  Arion Press, 1994.  (original translation copyright 1949, The George Macy Cos. Inc.)

Clark, Robert.  James Beard, A Biography.  HarperCollins,  1993.

Colwin, Laurie, More Home Cooking, A Writer Returns to the Kitchen, HarperCollins, 1993

Conrad, Barnaby, Absinthe: History in a Bottle, Chronicle Books, 1988.

Critchley, Laurie and Helen Windrath, editors.  Feast! Women Write About Food.  Distributed by Trafalgar Square, N. Pomfret, VT. The Women’s Press, UK 1996.

Cronin, Isaac. The Mindful Cook. Finding awareness, simplicity, and freedom in the kitchen.  Villard, 1999.

David, Elizabeth.  An Omelette and A Glass of Wine, Lyons & Burford, 1997

David, Elizabeth.  South Wind Through the Kitchen.  The Best of Elizabeth David.  North Point Press, 1999.

Davidson, Alan. A Kipper With My Tea, North Point Press, 1990

de Pomaine, Edouard.  Cooking in Ten Minutes

Dorenberg, Andrew and Karen Page.  Dining Out.  John Wiley & Sons Inc.  1998

Dumas, Alexandre.  Dumas on Food.  Selections from Le Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine.  Translated by Alan and Jane Davidson, Oxford Univ. Press, 1987.

Fisher, M.F.K. Stay Me, Oh Comfort Me, Journals and Stories, 1933-1941.

Pantheon Books, 1993

Fisher, M.F.K. The Art of Eating 50th Anniversary Edition, Wiley Publishing, 2004.

Fletcher, Angus, Colors of the Mind.

Gray, Patience. Honey from a Weed, North Point Press, 1986.

Harrison, Jim.  The Raw and the Cooked.  Grove Press, 2001

Jenkins, Steven.  Cheese Primer.  Workman Publishing Co., 1996.

Kummer, Corby.  The Joy of Coffee:  The Essential Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying.  Chapters Publishing, 1999.

Leibling, A. J.  Between Meals. North Point Press, San Francisco, 1986

MacDonald, Betty.  The Egg and I.  Penguin Books, 1956.

Murray, Catherine Tripalin, editor.  A Taste of Memories from Columbus Park.

Reardon, Joan.  M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table. Harmony Books, 1994.

Romer, Elizabeth, The Tuscan Year.

Root, Waverly, The Food of France, Vintage Books, 1992.

Schwabe, Calvin, Unmentionable Cuisine

Simeti, Mary Taylor.  Pomp and Sustenance- 25 Centuries of Sicilian Food, Henry Holt, 1991.

Tannahill, Reay. Food in History. Three Rivers Press, 1973.
Thorne, John with Matt Lewis Thorne.  Serious Pig – An American Cook in Search of His Roots.  North Point Press-FSG, NY 1996.

Thorne, John with Matt Lewis Thorne.  Pot on the Fire – Further Explits of a Renegade Cook,  North Point Press, 2000.  Box 778, Northampton, MA 01061.

Thorne, John.  Outlaw Cook, 1992

Thorne, John.  Simple Cooking, 1987. He also publishes a newsletter called Simple Cooking.

Todhunter, Andrew. A Meal Observed. Alfred Knopf, 2004.

Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri and Maurice Joyant.  Translated by Margery Weiner.  Henry Holt and Co. 1996

Welsch, Roger. Cather’s Kitchen.

West, Michael Lee, Consuming Passions-A Food Obsessed Life, HarperCollins, 1999

Wolfert, Paula.  Cooking of Southwest France.

Endless Feasts – Edited and with an introduction by Ruth Reichl

Modern Library, 2002,  401 pages, no index, $24.95

Ruth Harkness munching on exotic pheasants left in a Tibetan Lamasery by monks fleeing the Chinese invaders in 1944 because that’s all the food she had. Novelist Pat Conroy in Umbria rediscovering the food and sights through the eyes of his new mate.  The death of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York as told by Louis Diat, the chef who was ran the kitchen in 1910 when the hotel opened and was still there when it closed in 1950.

These are just three of the 41 narratives from Gourmet magazine delving into food, travel, taste and personalities.

Do travelers possess innately sophisticated palates that drive them to sample the world’s cuisines?  Or, does travel expose people to different, perhaps fresher ingredients, unusual preparations and intriguing cultural traditions?  The bond between food and travel is logical.  Go traveling and you’ll be foraging, whether at the Ritz or a Louisiana gumbo shack or at Havana, North Dakota’s community run Farmer’s Inn.  Travelers do develop faith in food; a meal is reward for a long day or night’s journey.  Sometimes the story is how grand that travelers’ meal; other times, how bad.  These stories are nearly all about  the great meals and the iconoclasts who cooked them.  A few stories include recipes.

by L. Peat O’Neil

This review appeared in Bloomsbury Review




  • Archives

  • Categories