Michael M Jones (oneminutemonkey) wrote,
Michael M Jones

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Mmmm, Tastes Like Chicken...

I just finished reading FIERCE FOOD: The Intrepid Diner's Guide to the Unusual, Exotic, and Downright Bizarre, by Christa Weil. (Plume, October 2006, $14.00)

Basically, Weil looks at something like 72 different bizarre things that people have, can, and will likely continue to eart, across the globe. It starts with Armadillo, continues on through Barnacle and Betal Nut, passes into Calf's Head, explores Fighting Bull, debunks Live Monkey Brain (according to her, it's just an urban legend... and let's keep it that way), contemplates Geoduck Clan and Guinea Pig, speaks of Fugu, Snapping Turle, Snake, Tarantula, and finishes with Yuba, with plenty of pit stops in-between. Some of the things mentioned are so revolting, I don't even dare mention them. Some are tasty, some are disgusting. Some of the dishes -will- attempt to kill you if you eat them wrong or they're not prepared -just- correctly. Some will give you the worst gas of your life. Some will just stink up the place so badly you'll have to move in the dead of night. And some will change your life.

Each essay is lovingly crafted as Weil explores the historical, societal, cultural, and/or gastrinomical context behind the item in question. For some, she spins exquisite yarns of the meal, for some she quotes from outside sources. And whenever possible, she thoroughly describes what it's like to consume Chicken's Foot, Honeypot Ant, or Locust.

Take several parts fascinating, mix in several parts appalling, shake, stir, and serve. This is a book that any gourmand or culinary adventurer is sure to appreciate. Heck, horror fans might like it also. Not for the squeamish.

(Jay the Redcap gives this book 4 out of 5 Glamour for exploring the extreme side of dining.)

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