Now For Something Completely Different

While the main focus of this site is pretty clearly Australia, including my adventures in and writing about the sunburnt country, I also want to share other destinations and interests. I travel a fair bit, and have seen some things I hope to share. I also write about food: primarily food history, but also food and travel, chef profiles, and so on. If you visit Hungry Magazine (link at right), you can check the archives for both Food History and Travel to see some of my work.

However, due to the miracle of modern technology, you can also hear me talk a bit about travel and food, as I was recently interviewed on the Restaurant Guys Radio show. (Phone interview—they’re in New Jersey, I’m near Chicago.)

I was rather surprised to find myself talking with them about travel and the magazine, as I had thought we’d be talking about food history. I was prepared to share all sorts of fun facts about how we came to eat what we eat today. So they caught me a bit off guard. I will share with you now the answer to the final question they asked me about where to find extreme food—an answer that came to me only moments after hanging up the phone. And the answer is, of course, that you can find extreme food anywhere, because everything is extreme if it’s not what you normally eat. I’ve had jellied eels in London, barbecued grasshoppers in Mexico, and cod tongues and seal-flipper pie in Newfoundland, Canada. Of course, the farther one gets from one’s own culture, the more things seem extreme. Obviously, for someone who grew up in the Midwest, Asia and Africa offer the greatest opportunities for eating outside one’s comfort zone. However, that said, we have so many Asian and African restaurants in Chicago, I don’t have to go far to eat strange stuff—duck tongues and chicken feet are fairly accessible here.

However, while I’m happy to try something new, especially when it is an important part of a region’s culture, I don’t go out of my way to eat the wacky stuff. I passed on a local event featuring worms and scorpions last year, and I recently turned down an invitation to attend a dinner featuring cicadas (inch-long bugs that emerge from the ground during the summer every 17 years). The point of eating strange food for me is connecting to a culture, not just being able to gross people (or myself) out.

So HERE is the link to the interview.

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Filed under Food, Podcasts, Travel

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