About Travel Bites:
Travel Bites is a collection of anecdotal travel stories that crisscross the globe. It is the first work by The Hungry Traveller who has combined his two great life passions: travelling and eating! The Hungry Traveller has been travelling for the last fifteen years and, along the way, has experienced many different sights, tastes, and cultures. Central to his travel experiences has been the role of food. Through his unique and very personal style of storytelling, you too can share in the highs and the lows of his stories from around the world. At the end of each story is a recipe for a dish inspired by his adventure. Travel Bites will capture your imagination and curiosity; and will leave you yearning to plan your next holiday, adventure or escape!
This book is very much outside of my normal genre. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy cookbooks and such, but they’re generally not something I just sit down to read, if you know what I mean. This book was a bit different. It was cookbook meets world traveling documentary. It was definitely an interesting fusion.
Each of his recipes are prefaced by a story of something that happened to him while on his travels. What I found interesting—and if I’m being completely honest, a little frustrating at times—was that the recipes didn’t always match his stories. I understand why he chose to do this, but it kind of gave the book a bit of a disconnect.
In his stories, he uses wonderfully colorful adjectives to describe the area around him, and especially the people that he meets along the way. They may be short stories prefacing the recipes, but he packs a lot of punch into his stories, from him explaining how the bright pink Singapore Sling drink that he drank at the famous Long Bar was sickeningly sweet (and how on subsequent visits he stuck to Tiger beers) to him describing how he came upon Vietnamese Drunken Prawns (I think this one was one of my favorite stories—I definitely giggled and cringed).
What I really missed in this book, however, was some physical imagery. Sure, he had some great descriptions of things, but with both travel books and cookbooks, one of the things I love most is great photography. The lack of any photos is why I gave the “Other” category such a low score. It really is a big thing to be missing here. For instance, sure, he can describe the Singapore Sling as a bright pink drink, but my idea of bright pink might be different from yours. When talking about actual travels—and actual food—photographs go a long way.
As far as the recipes go, I will say that after reading both the story of Lao Cai in Vietnam and his recipe for Vegetarian Spring Rolls, it made me long for the days when I was not restricted to a Low Carb diet. His recipe for them sounds divine. But before that, in his story, he talks about banana pancakes with chocolate sauce for breakfast. Oh, how I miss bananas, one of the highest carb fruits. LOL! But I digress…
For a book where I was stepping so far outside of my comfort zone, I did enjoy it. Even without the pictures. I would recommend the book just for his fun tales of his travels abroad. The recipes are a nice added touch, and help to fill out the book some, but the bulk of the book is in the stories he tells. If you enjoy books about travels, I would recommend this. If you’re just looking for a cookbook, I might skip this one, but I’ll leave that choice up to you. 📖
The Hungry Traveller is a traveling enthusiast who loves to eat! When traveling, he enjoys meeting new people and engaging with locals to learn about their culture, history and the food that they eat.
Wattle Publishing is an independent publisher. We publish fiction, non-fiction and poetry. www.wattlepublishing.com
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