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The Food Adventurers: How Around-the-World Travel Changed the Way We Eat

The Food Adventurers: How Around-the-World Travel Changed the Way We Eat

Current price: $27.50
Publication Date: September 14th, 2023
Reaktion Books
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Apr 18 9:51am
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A delectable gastronomic expedition into the linked histories of global travel and global cuisine.
From mangosteen fruit discovered in a colonial Indonesian marketplace to caviar served on the high seas in a cruise liner’s luxurious dining saloon, The Food Adventurers narrates the history of eating on the most coveted of tourist journeys: the around-the-world adventure. The book looks at what tourists ate on these adventures, as well as what they avoided, and what kinds of meals they described in diaries, photographs, and postcards. Daniel E. Bender shows how circumglobal travel shaped popular fascination with world cuisines while leading readers on a culinary tour from Tahitian roast pig in the 1840s, to the dining saloon of the luxury Cunard steamer Franconia in the 1920s, to InterContinental and Hilton hotel restaurants in the 1960s and ’70s.

About the Author

Daniel E. Bender is the Canada Research Chair in Food and Culture and professor of food studies and history at the University of Toronto. Bender is the author or editor of many books, including Food Mobilities: Making World Cuisines.

Praise for The Food Adventurers: How Around-the-World Travel Changed the Way We Eat

"From roast pig on the beach of 1840s Tahiti to the saloons of luxury ocean liners in the Jazz Age, Bender (who teaches food studies at the University of Toronto) has pored over postcards, photographs and diaries of tourist journeys to get at how globe-trotting gastronomes influenced menus and tastes once they returned home."
— Globe and Mail

"Bender, a professor of food studies in Toronto, suggests people are quite right to be nervous of new eating experiences especially the ‘fiery torments’ of curries and spices, which can burn the mouth ‘like a live coal’ and ‘cause tears to flow.’ . . . Nevertheless, there have always been hardy souls who positively enjoy tracking down bizarre lunches and dinners."
— Daily Mail (UK)

"For generations, food adventurers have searched for new culinary experiences. . . . Professor of food studies Bender [writes] about the links between international travel, culture and diet."
— Sunday Post, Scotland

"Do you pick your holiday destination based on the local food? Discover how the phenomenon evolved over the last 200 years in this thoughtful book. From the golden age of steamships to the glamorous era of aeroplane travel, Bender recounts the birth of modern food tourism through the meals eaten by the first people to travel for pleasure and write about it."
— Delicious

"The heroine of this book is the delightful Juanita Harrison, an Afro-American free spirit who cheerfully travelled the world in the 1930s. . . . The book is subtitled How Around-the-World Travel Changed the Way We Eat and the author keeps doggedly to the task."
— Country Life

"Drawing on contemporaneous diaries, photographs, and cookbooks, Bender provides a window into the twin attitudes of fascination and exoticization that often defined Western perspectives toward international foods and peoples, and explores such issues as colonization, globalization, and cultural appropriation. It’s a riveting study."
— Publishers Weekly

"From mangosteen fruit discovered in a colonial Indonesian marketplace to the caviar served in the dining saloon of a cruise liner, this charts the history of eating while travelling, as well as the growing fascination with world cuisines."
— Bookseller

"Bender [is] eminently qualified to embark on what he describes as 'an eating trip around the world.' The result of this undertaking is a tale of food adventure revealed through six travellers, two fruits, two hotel chains, 'one meal and a glass of water'. Bender brings to light the personalities, quirks and bravery of his characters. . . . The narrative is packed with amusing anecdotes, some quite audacious. . . . The book, dare one day it, is a delicious gastronomic expedition into the histories of global travel and cuisine."
— Geographical

"Professor of food studies and history, Bender shows how tourism has shaped our fascination with world cuisines through an examination of travel, from the age of the sailboat to the rise of the jet plane. He looks at how we eat on the road, covering subjects such as Tahitian roast pig in the 1840s, the colonial ‘discoveries’ of fruit like the mangosteen, 1970s hotel restaurants and caviar served on board luxury cruise liners."
— National Geographic Traveler

“Drawing on an extensive collection of diaries, letters, photographs, and cookbooks, The Food Adventurers takes us on a culinary expedition around the world via six travellers, offering insights into Westerners’ fascination with foreign cultures and cuisines, whilst simultaneously examining issues such as globalisation, cultural appropriation, and colonisation. Bender explores, over the last 200 years, the conflict between tourists’ apparent—and professed—desire for authenticity, and their longing for comfort, familiarity, and luxury.”
— ASLEF Journal

"This is a richly rewarding and exquisitely detailed book about food adventuring from the sailboat, through the steamship, to the jet plane, putting each instance in painstaking infrastructural and cultural context. What happens when a roving imperial appetite meets the hospitable yet marginalized other? How is one person's adventure turned into another person's physical and emotional labor? In addressing these questions, Food Adventurers suggests that there is no way to disentangle the cultural politics of travel from the political economics of underdevelopment."
— Krishnendu Ray, professor of food studies, New York University, author of "The Ethnic Restaurateur"

“Finally, someone has written a book about the hypocrisy (or maybe just ‘ambiguity’) of gastro-tourism and how it has been marketed. Bender traces the nearly two-hundred-year history of the tug-of-war between tourists’ professed desire for authenticity and their need for comfort and familiarity.”
— Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale University, and author of "American Cuisine"