‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Anthony Bourdain

with one comment

Anthony Bourdain is a writer, chef, and traveller of the world. What is he searching for? He attempts to answer this with his book  A Cook’s Tour – Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisine. Author of Kitchen Confidential, which I’ve only read sporadically and in sections before re-gifting to someone else, Anthony Bourdain is searching for the “perfect” meal. He freely admits that this may not exist but it will not stop him from searching. This book was the inspiration for a reality television show on the Food Network which followed him around for two years as he traveled the world and sampled exotic dishes and experienced the culture of the people around him. anthony_bourdain3

The book is divided up into various sections, miniature essays about the individual places that he’s travelled to. I just finished a section where he travelled to Portugal to visit his boss’s family. They live on a farm and there is a tradition each year where they fatten up a pig for 6 months, and then proceed to butcher him. Bourdain goes into great detail the amount of work this butchering entails and how nothing, nothing, is wasted.

It took four strong men, experts at this sort of thing, to restrain the pig, then drag and wrestle him up onto his side and onto a heavy wooden horse cart. It was not easy. With the weight of two men pinning him down and another holding his hind legs, the main man with the knife, gripping him by the head, leaned over and plunged the knife all the way into the beast’s thorax, just above the heart. The pig went wild. The screaming penetrated the fillings in my teeth, echoed through the valley. With an incredible shower of fresh blood flying in every direction, the shrieking, squealing, struggling animal heaved himself off the cart, forcefully kicking one of his tormentors in the groin repeatedly. Spraying great gouts of blood, the pig fought mightily, four men desperately attempting to gain purchase on his kicking legs, bucking abdomen, and blood -smeared rearing head.

The images and scene he presents is visceral and a bit unsettling. Well worth picking up if you enjoy travel literature or books that celebrate the joy of cooking and food.

A hearty thanks to Miss Jenn for this Christmas gift, huzzah.

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Written by thebeliever07

December 28, 2008 at 11:17 am

One Response

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  1. I just love him – can’t wait to read it! 🙂

    somuchmorethanamom

    December 31, 2008 at 2:51 pm


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