Food is a huge part of what we like to experience during our travels. Whether we’ve purchased it from a cart on the street, dined on it by candlelight, or watched it being prepared in a loved one’s kitchen, we will photograph it, savour it, and remember it for years to come.
I haven’t made much of a secret of this fact; nor have I been shy about my devotion to Lonely Planet guidebooks. So it made sense to bring you a review of a book I picked up a few years ago: Lonely Planet’s collection of short stories, written by chefs, food critics, and foodie writers, called A Fork In The Road.
The book features writing by people like Curtis Stone, Michael Pollan (a personal favourite of M.’s), and Annabel Longbein.
Some stories are hilarious, others poignant; all revolve around the culinary experiences had while travelling.
This wasn’t the kind of book I sat down and devoured in one sitting; in fact, I read these stories over a period of several years, picking up the book when I had a spare moment. Sometimes, I considered taking it with me on trips, but the hardback cover and thicker width made me put it back on my bedside-table pile every time.
It doesn’t need to be a page-turner, though. This is more of a coffee-table book masquerading as a regular-sized book.
Several of the stories have stuck in my mind: Sandi Tan’s memories of Sambal squid and her mostly-absent father; Jay Rayner’s reverant descriptions of crab and oysters with white wine and Porter along the Essex coast; Monique Truong’s harrowing tale of winding island roads and marital discord saved only by fresh Greek herbs and vegetables. The entire book is richly descriptive. It makes you want to take a notebook the next time you go to a restaurant.
A Fork In The Road is probably not the book for you if you don’t consider food a key part of a trip.
If you’re like us, though, and would go miles out of your way to try to local delicacy, then this book will be a treat.
Know a travel book you think we’d enjoy? Please share!
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