Gastro Obscura

 A Food Adventurer’s Guide

Gastro obscuraThis truly is a real food-lover’s treasury. By ‘food lover’ I mean those who sincerely love food rather than just the latest restaurant, and are excited by the prospect of new flavours. Gastro Obscura will be bedtime reading for so many of us, although it’s such a culinary page turner it’s likely the reader will still be engrossed at dawn.

We have not been able to travel, and food discovery can be such a significant part of any trip. But Gastro Obscura keeps our appetites alive with its pages of photographs and stories surrounding these foods. So many of those could be new to the reader or will revive memories of that favourite back street restaurant in a little-known town.

There are addresses

Gastro Obscura has recipes, too! Milk Tart from South Africa, and a Pimento Cheese sandwich from The States are a couple of the accessible ones made with simply supermarket ingredients. Argan Oil Almond Butter might be a bit more of a challenge. But the book doesn’t leave the reader hanging with a suspicion that one will never be able to track down that exotic hot sauce or those intriguing Mock Meats. There are addresses for those who are tempted by a particular dish or ingredient.

There is plenty of social history, with foods showcased in weird and wonderful ways. Lemon juice eye drops were a ‘thing’ in nineteenth-century England. There are striking floating vegetable gardens in Myanmar. The Masai in Africa drink blood from their cattle and that has proved to keep them remarkably healthy. In India the lunch delivery system is something wondrous! The world revolves around food.

Gastro Obscura is not a cookbook although it does boast a few recipes. It is rather a book which will be appreciated by any enthusiastic home cook or even professional chef, and moreover by travellers who have food as a focus. It is a delightful book and unique in every way.

Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide
Authors: Cecily Wong, Dylan Thuras
Published by: ‎Workman Publishing
Price: £32.00
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1523502196