Thursday, December 23, 2021

Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide (Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras, et al.)

The talent behind Atlas Obscura has taken a geographic food tour with Gastro Obscura, a globe-trotting tour of all things uniquely culinary. Edited and written by Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras (among others), Gastro Obscura offers a mix of short writings, recipes, and other stories about the world’s unique tastes. If you’ve ever read Atlas Obscura online, you’ll likely assume (correctly) that this tour will be on the odd side.

If you’ve seen “Bizarre Foods” on TV or watched any Anthony Bourdain shows, you’ll see similarities in this book. Parts of a cow that most Americans wouldn’t touch, fermented foods that you didn’t think could even be fermented, and regionally unique dishes all get featured. Hot dishes, hot peppers, hot dogs, and food cooked over hot coals all get mentions.

It’s a fun book for adventurous foodies that also serves as a travel guide, giving advice on finding things such as The Lunchbox Museum or various festivals that pay homage to local foods. As someone who likes to travel and see unique sites, although without the full curiosity in my palate for odd foods that this book has, there are a good number of places that I can still add to my “need to visit” bucket list.