07 February 2015

Weekend Cooking: Far Flung and Well Fed by R. W. Apple Jr.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Far Flung and Well Fed by R. W. Apple Jr.R. W. Apple Jr, called Johnny by those who knew him, had the dream job of getting paid to travel and dine all over the world in his career as a newspaper reporter. Far Flung and Well Fed is a collection of some his food-related New York Times articles, dated from the late 1990s into the early twenty-first century.

Apple's stories introduce us to street-vendor pretzels, artisan cheeses, Scotch whiskey, Andean wines, German rye bread, and Venetian seafood. Although the focus of the articles is on food, we also get to see the people and places through Apple's eyes, letting us indulge in some armchair travels.

The short pieces in this large collection are best read one or two at a time, and not necessarily in order. Instead, visit California and learn about an Indonesian vegetable dish:
And then there is rojak, a midsummer California night's dream, cooling and palate-stirring: pineapple, cucumber, mango, jicama, crispy tofu, peanuts and hot pepper. It makes a world-class salad, colorful, enlivened by vivid contrasts in texture, sweet and salty, mild and peppery. (p. 132)
Then pop over to Europe and rediscover a familiar spice:
Paprika is paprika, you might think. But no. It is almost as complex as the Hungarian language, which is related only to Finnish and Basque, as far as anyone knows, and sounds like something falling down stairs. (p. 307)
Continue west, stopping in southern India, where coconuts are king:
The coconut palm, I quickly came to realize, is the mainstay of Malayalee life. Its leaves are used for thatch, its fiber for robe, its roots for firewood, its trunk for furniture. And in the Keralite kitchen, coconut flesh, oil, milk and vinegar are indispensable sources of both flavor and texture. (p. 376)
You'll find that Apple has strong opinions and is sometimes slightly snobby, but he is nonetheless always delightful. What an amazing life he had in both food and travel. Pick up a copy of Far Flung and Well Fed to keep on your nightstand and take a trip around the world, one delicious story at a time.

Published by St. Martin's Press, 2009
ISBN-13: 9780312325770
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


JoAnn 2/7/15, 7:42 AM  

Sounds entertaining... would enjoy dipping in and out of this one.

rhapsodyinbooks 2/7/15, 8:04 AM  

I love these kinds of books!

Karen 2/7/15, 8:14 AM  

I appreciate books where you can just pick it up and put it down whenever you like—sometimes all I have the brainpower for is a page or two! :)

(Diane) bookchickdi 2/7/15, 8:25 AM  

Wouldn't that be a terrific job? This one looks so interesting.

bermudaonion 2/7/15, 8:40 AM  

Oh, I bet that's a lot of fun to read.

Linda 2/7/15, 10:01 AM  

I just started reading this one. It makes me hungry so I can't read too much at a time. His writing is amazing. He really brings these places he visits alive.

Katherine P 2/7/15, 10:43 AM  

Oh this sounds fun! I don't mind a little snob if the book is good enough and interesting enough and that sounds like the case with this one. Thanks for sharing!

Trish 2/7/15, 10:47 AM  

This sounds like a lot of fun! I'll have to check to see if I can find it on audible...though I guess that goes against reading it a little more slowly.

Belle Wong 2/7/15, 2:19 PM  

This sounds like a great read. I've always loved food writing books and it's nice to discover new-to-me ones like this one.

Laurie C 2/7/15, 3:46 PM  

Strong opinions and snobby might make it more interesting reading?
It sounds like one I'd like in snippets, as you suggest. That rojak sounds amazing!

Claudia 2/7/15, 5:09 PM  

Would love to browse through that one. Sounds like a good selection as well for our Cook the Books Club.

Claudia 2/7/15, 6:32 PM  

Not sure how I got the double entry here, seems to be my day for it.

Esme 2/7/15, 11:41 PM  

That is the job I want. I am going to go looking for this book. Thank you.

Emma Littlefield 2/8/15, 9:03 AM  

Echoing some others comments but sounds like a good job to have and an interesting book.Emma

Les 2/8/15, 10:42 AM  

This sounds like a lovely book for any foodie! Off to see if my bookstore or library has a copy!

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