Monday, November 15, 2010

Dog Stew, Painted Penises & Other Global Food Adventures

This evening I drove back to destination book store Book Passage (in Corte Madera) to see the legendary Don George (whom I'd met there 3 months ago at the annual Travel, Food & Photography Conference) launch the latest Lonely Planet anthology, A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Adventures Around the World.

The book brings to the table a veritable who's who of food writers, travel writers, and food travel writers. Eleven or twelve (depending on where you place Jan Morris) of the 38 contributors are women (which certainly beats the latest Best American Travel Writing 2010 with its single female contributor!); hard to tell who other than Pico Iyer was a writer of color.

So, on to the dog stew and painted penises (can your food adventure beat these?)... 

World Hum hipster Jim Benning (who took me for a stalker and avoided eye contact after I snapped at the nut-job next to me in line who kept grabbing my books and claiming they were hers) opened with an account of driving to nearly-ghost-town Tijuana for lunch. 

Surprise guest reader Simon Winchester (in town on his own book tour) gave a pitch-perfect, dry-Brit-wit reading about receiving bags of hate mail after writing a piece on eating dog stew.

Photographer/travel writer Amanda Jones (who arrived directly from New Zealand looking better than anyone has a right to) read a hilarious tale of being offered a mango by a naked tribesman with a painted penis.

And the much-loved Larry Habegger of the much-loved Travelers' Tales series that's launched a thousand careers (and with whom I have corresponded for more than a decade but only met tonight!) closed out the evening with a touching account of an hospitable yak herder in the Himalayas.

What was your life changing food adventure abroad?

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