The Year of Eating Dangerously: A Global Adventure in Search of Culinary Extremes

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Macmillan, Aug 19, 2008 - Cooking - 400 pages

"A bracingly funny writer...Whether he's choking down dog stew in Korea or sipping cobra bile in China, Parker Bowles imbues his odyssey with self-deprecatory wit and sensitivity that make this travelogue a rare treat."--Entertainment Weekly

Tom Parker Bowles is a fiend for great flavor, and does not shy away from strange-looking, spicy, or otherwise "dangerous" foods whether in London or halfway around the world. Raised with a taste for fresh, simply prepared foods, he nevertheless was always intrigued by "exotic" foods, especially the kinds found in America--no Spanish or French food for him, thank you! "A chili freak who always carries a bottle of Tabasco" (People), Tom is no food snob.

His journey took him from the potentially lethal—fugu, the infamous poisonous blowfish —to the merely nauseating to the unexpectedly delectable. As he traveled through Asia and Europe, guided by friends and locals, he warily ate dog, snake, insects, offal, and a variety of sea creatures. In the United States, he ignored warnings from those who knew better as he eagerly stuffed himself with much too much barbecue in Tennessee and some of the hottest of the hot sauces at The National Fiery Foods Show in New Mexico. "Smart, stylish, erudite and hip in a sardonic, unmistakably limey sense--like a lost son of Nigella Lawson and Eddie Izzard" (Radar), Tom Parker Bowles makes even a cringe-worthy meal worth the trip.


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User Review  - jpporter - LibraryThing

This is an amusing book, if one is into "lives of the rich and famous (or members of families that wish they were rich and famous)." The book is basically a gastronomic travelogue, so don't expect ... Read full review

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User Review  - love2laf - LibraryThing

Now this was a glorious, unabashed, food loving book. Not just about eating the weirdest item, but more about exploring local food all over the world, and trying to approach it with an open mind and ... Read full review



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About the author (2008)

I realize that beery bravado was the main culprit but I do remember (very vaguely) thinking what the point was in going on a search for the hottest sauces in the world if I didn't try at least a spatter. I imagine myself stepping up to the challenge, a brave knight fighting for the pride of his homeland.
'Bollocks to that,' says my ever-sensitive friend. 'You were a sweaty mess, and the whole crowd was waiting to see you go down in a blaze of unglory.'
Apparently, the braying masses whooped for joy when I took on the challenge. And the crowd grew bigger still, as at least a dozen hot-sauce maestros gathered expectantly to have a laugh at the English fool. The bottle appeared once more, named Salsa Para Pendejos.
Now it's one thing drunkenly agreeing to try a drop of this liquid fire but quite another to risk putting myself in hospital before I've finished at The Fiery Foods Show. I took the straw, touched it to my palm so there was a dot no bigger than a comma. A few in the crowd voiced their disappointment.
Ignoring the heckles, I touched the tip of my tongue to the dot of sauce on my hand, probably taking no more than a quarter of the punctuation mark blob. The crowd grew silent, craning their necks to get a better view.
--from A Year of Eating Dangerously

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