Gastronaut, by Stefan Gates. (Harcourt, Inc. $14 paperback. 258 pages)

This book is some of the best airport reading I have ever experienced. Gates takes an adventure through the world of eating things that shouldn’t be eaten and allows us to go along with him. This book really should not be read by anyone remotely squeamish, or even particularly concerned with hygiene. Luckily for me, I am neither. I was stranded in DFW for a few hours and picked this up to read while I waited and on the way back to Abilene. Since I’d been on a plane or in an airport for an obscene amount of time that day already, I really wasn’t feeling like eating (does that happen to you? Airports just seem like such dismal, grimy places. I’ve got to be really hungry to feel like ingesting anything there.), so I thought perhaps a book on food would be the next best thing. Gates’ book covers everything from eating boogers to hosting your own Bacchanal. I don’t think there’s anything in this book that I’d actually try, but I loved Gates’ adventurous spirit. After reading this book, I have yet to attempt to make my own head cheese (or ever ever ever eat it), but I have tried to be more experimental in the kitchen. No more plain mac’n’cheese for me– it’s mac’n’cheese with hot dogs! 🙂 The exploding fruit tart was one outcome of this. So was some inedible lasagna. Happy Cooking, fellow adventurers.

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