Book review: A Moveable Feast

When did the words travel and food become one and the same? These days, food tourism has worked its way to the tip of every well-heeled traveler’s tongue, whether it’s a search for Hong Kong’s best wonton noodles on foodie-travel favorite website Chowhound or the neverending food voyeurism of Travel Channel favorites Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern. It’s at exactly this zenith of food-focused travel that Lonely Planet has released A Moveable Feast, the latest entry in the guidebook publisher’s growing library of travel-focused literature.

A Moveable Feast, which came out this past October, represents a curated banquet of 38 “life-changing food adventures” from around the world. The anthology was curated by well-known Lonely Planet editor Don George (full disclosure: Don is Features Editor for Gadling) and includes an appetizer of food-related tales by well-known travel writers including Pico Iyer, Mark Kurlansky and (of course) Anthony Bourdain. There’s a little bit of everything featured in these 38 deliciously entertaining tales, from a love letter to French food by Andrew Zimmern to tales of eating dog in Korea by well-known travel scribe Simon Winchester. We even get a food story by Gadling’s own Sean McLachlan.

What’s the verdict on A Moveable Feast? It’s a fun, easily digestible collection of food-focused tales. Ultimately, reading A Moveable Feast is a lot like the typical Italian or French meal the book’s storytellers might reference: it aspires to be simply what it is. The ingredients will be of the utmost quality, and you will savor the details: the amusing anecdotes, the well-written prose and the vibrant descriptions. All in all, a collection of stories that is at once nourishing and entertaining – the perfect fuel for any food-loving traveler.

Lonely Planet’s 2010 Anthology: call for submissions

Lonely Planet has just asked me to edit their annual literary travel anthology for this year. I edited the first three — The Kindness of Strangers, By the Seat of My Pants, and Tales from Nowhere — and each time it was a tremendous challenge and pleasure. One of the things I’ve loved best has been publishing a mix of authors spanning the spectrum from best-selling to never-been-published-before. I think this has added to the richness of each book.

The title this year is A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Encounters Around the World. The fundamental premise is that the food factor unites every traveler and every journey. Wherever we are, we all need to eat. And because we need to eat, food becomes one of the traveler’s fundamental fascinations – and pathways into a place. On the road, food nourishes us not only physically, but intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.

I believe every traveler has some unforgettable food story – a larger-than-life feast, a mind-bending immersion in a rural market, the homemade, heart-opening treat shared by a stranger on a claptrap train, an adventure on the trail of an edible exotic. In all these tales, food is an agent of transformation, taking travelers to a deeper and more lasting understanding of and connection with a people, a place and a culture. And if they’re really lucky, it tastes good too!

A Moveable Feast will present true travelers’ tales set around the world. The theme threading through them will be the inimitable ability of food to inspire our serendipities, satiate our senses, and enlighten our journeys – in short, to transform the planet into a moveable feast for mind, soul, and stomach.

I’m looking for original, unpublished pieces of exceptionally high literary quality. Length is from 1,000 to 3,000 words. Deadline is April 19.

If you have a great food story to tell, email it to me at don DAWT george AT sbcglobal DAWT net, with Food Anthology in the subject line. All submissions are on speculation.

If you wish to see what kinds of stories have been published in the three previous Lonely Plant anthologies, pick up copies of The Kindness of Strangers, By the Seat of My Pants, and Tales from Nowhere.

A Moveable Feast
will be published this fall.

Good luck!

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