Sorry its been awhile, work seems to be taking over my life! What little cooking I have done has been stuff I’ve already posted on here such as my sour cream and apple cake. I have also tried several recipes for doughnuts and have been disappointed – including George Colombaris’s from Masterchef Australia. I still haven’t figured out what I did wrong. I think my oil was either too cold or too hot. They were too dark and really dripped oil! Not nice. Any way without much on the baking front I thought I’d share with you a foodie book I’ve recently finished.
Tom Parker Bowles (yes Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall’s son from her first marriage) is a British food writer and critic. I have read some of his columns and always enjoyed them. When I saw his book The Year of Eating Dangerously, I was intrigued. He sets himself a goal, to go around the world eating some of the strangest and foulest concoctions we humans eat. The book is by turns hilarious and cringe inducing, almost likely to put you off dinner – nah never! But definitely aghhhh inducing.
He starts innocently enough with elvers or baby eels. It is supposed to be quite dangerous procuring these elvers and he is somewhat trepidations. A self confessed coward with a poor stomach I’m surprised that he set himself such a mission. The elver catching turned out to be very tame – not so other encounters. I particularly enjoyed his account of his time at the Fiery Foods Show in New Mexico where he decided to try chilli extracts. Now normal chillies are measured in scovilles. Now a normal jalapeno is around 2000 scovilles well there are extracts that go up to 7 million scovilles!!!! You apparently have to sign medical disclaimers. Now Tom decides, when drunk to try one of these extracts and the out-of-body experience he describes in hilarious! Needless to say he is a serious chilli head and I would not be able to stand half the things he slugged down!
There are truly horrific moments. He claims the worst thing he ate was silk worm pupae which he says was worse than many of the other unmentionable things he ate. The one thing he tasted, more under duress because he went all the way to do so was dog. Now as much as he was defending himself at this point, I really struggled to get myself to finish the book after this incident in Korea. As much as I love reading culinary adventure stories, dog is going way to far, and even reading about it made me feel quite ill!
I struggled on, but had lost my sense of fun and humor with the book after this point. Up till that point I really enjoyed it. I take pleasure in learning about these different cuisines, even the weird and wonderful aspects of them. If you like these sorts of books, then I think you will enjoy this one, but if you have a vivid imagination, then I’d pass.