Thursday, October 09, 2008

Two for the Road by Jane & Michael Stern

The Sterns are, of course, famous as the originators and popularizers of the term "Roadfood" -- meaning the good regional dishes of America, rather than what you get at the restaurants Calvin Trillin called Maison de la Casa House: Continental Cuisine -- and this is their memoir-cum-recipe book.

It was published in May of 2006, but I'd had a galley lying around since sometime before that, which I finally got to over this summer.

There are nineteen chapters, each of which is about some aspect of their traveling and eating life, and each of which ends with a couple of recipes (usually two) from restaurants mentioned in that chapter. They start out more-or-less chronological, with the Stern's first trip or two, but turn thematic quickly. (Presumably because, from an eating point of view, a trip to Iowa in 1978 isn't terribly different from one in 1985, or 1997.)

They're engaging writers, and they've eaten a lot of great food over the years -- both things that made me salivate, and things that they liked but which I wouldn't touch with a bargepole -- so this book is very entertaining. It also has an index of all of the places mentioned, which would make it particularly useful for the glovebox of a car on a cross-country trip.

If you like to eat, and you're not all stuck up about it, I bet you'd like this book.

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