Taste the World!
It’s truly a feast of wonder: Created by the ever-curious minds behind Atlas Obscura, this breathtaking guide transforms our sense of what people around the world eat and drink. Covering all seven continents, Gastro Obscura serves up a loaded plate of incredible ingredients, food adventures, and edible wonders. Ready for a beer made from fog in Chile? Sardinia’s “Threads of God” pasta? Egypt’s 2000-year-old egg ovens? But far more than a menu of curious minds delicacies and unexpected dishes, Gastro Obscura reveals food’s central place in our lives as well as our bellies, touching on history–trace the network of ancient Roman fish sauce factories. Culture–picture four million women gathering to make rice pudding. Travel–scale China’s sacred Mount Hua to reach a tea house. Festivals–feed wild macaques pyramid of fruit at Thailand’s Monkey Buffet Festival. And hidden gems that might be right around the corner, like the vending machine in Texas dispensing full sized pecan pies. Dig in and feed your sense of wonder.
“Like a great tapas meal, Gastro Obscura is deep yet snackable, and full of surprises. This is the book for anyone interested in eating, adventure and the human condition.” –Tom Colicchio, chef and activist
“This exquisite guide kept me at the breakfast table until dinner time.” –Kyle Maclachlan, actor and vintner
Like a cross between Larousse Gastronomique and Ripley's Believe It or Not!, this sprawling, encyclopedic odyssey is crammed to its "air-breathing monster fish" gills with weird delicacies, lost histories, potent potables, bizarre bazaars, and circumspect rituals of consumption. Culled from submissions by the editors and readers of the travel oddity website Atlas Obscura, the brief entries lift the veil on the sport of haggis hurling in Scotland, the medicinal use of Soviet-era blood candy (for "treating low levels of iron"), and the importance of camel jerky in northern Somali wedding ceremonies (it can make or break a groom's reputation). Chapters are arranged geographically, leaving almost no cave, mountain, or seabed unexplored for readers to gleefully browse at will. A modern-day oyster vending machine in France shares a page with cocaine-laced wine of the late 19th century, as do a cow's head barbecue in Texas and a potato doughnut from Utah. Elsewhere, a write-up of the Chinese city of Gaoyou, known for its double-yolked duck eggs, comes close on the heels of a thumbnail history of China's rou jia mo, the world's first sandwich (circa 221 207 BCE). This compendium is a must-have for those who like their pickles brined in Kool-Aid or crave the chewy texture of Inuit blubber cubes.