Monday, September 05, 2005

Tales from the Tummy Trilogy audiobook

Tales from the Tummy Trilogy (Audio Cassette) Written and Read by: Calvin Trillin

I have never heard of Calvin Trillin, though apparently he was rather popular in the 1970s. This Audio book features him reading selections from his trilogy of essays about food. This food expert eschews pretension, and while enjoying fancy food as much as the next guy (and will even travel to other continents for a good meal), he mostly extols the virtues of the Buffalo Chicken Wing, the New York City Bagel, American BBQ and Louisiana Hot Sauce (also - the Chinatown noodle and pretty much any Mexican dish). His main point can be summed up by this paraphrase: "The good food, the really good food, is not at the restaurant you took your parents to for their 25th or 50th anniversary - it's at the restaurant you first go to when you return home after you spent three years on a tour of duty in a foreign country."

Beyond that, he details his travels across the USA and the world, looking for regional cuisines and local variations. Of course, this comes with its own set of trials - I nearly collapsed laughing when he discussed getting invited to dinner by a politician who had married an Italian war bride from a town famous for it cuisine - only to find nothing makes her feel more American than to prepare frozen fish sticks (he has nothing but scorn for frozen processed foods).

Besides, he's the sort of guy who can slaughter a monkfish (read or listen to find out what that refers to).

Mr. Trillin has a nice deadpan sense of humor that appeals to me. Overall, this little compilation has opened my eyes about the wonderful world of "everyday" foodstuffs.

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