Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TLC Book Tours: Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain's Food Culture by Matt Goulding

Title: Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain's Food Culture
Author: Matt Goulding
Format: ARC
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Publish Date: November 15, 2016
Source: HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours 

What's the Story?:

From "Grape, Olive, Pig is a deeply personal exploration of Spain, a country where eating and living are inextricably linked. Crafted in the "refreshing" (Associated Press), "inspirational" (Publishers Weekly) and "impeccably observed" ( style of the acclaimed Rice, Noodle, Fish, and written with the same evocative voice of the award-winning magazine Roads & Kingdoms, this magnificent gastronomic travel companion takes you through the key regions of Spain as you’ve never seen them before.

Matt Goulding introduces you to the sprawling culinary and geographical landscape of his adoptive home, and offers an intimate portrait of this multifaceted country, its remarkable people, and its complex history. Fall in love with Barcelona’s tiny tapas bars and modernist culinary temples. Explore the movable feast of small plates and late nights in Madrid. Join the three-thousand-year-old hunt for Bluefin tuna off the coast of Cadiz, then continue your seafood journey north to meet three sisters who risk their lives foraging the gooseneck barnacle, one of Spain’s most treasured ingredients. Delight in some of the world’s most innovative and avant-garde edible creations in San Sebastian, and then wash them down with cider from neighboring Asturias. Sample the world’s finest acorn-fed ham in Salamanca, share in the traditions of cave-dwelling shepherds in the mountains beyond Granada, and debate what constitutes truly authentic paella in Valencia.

Grape, Olive, Pig reveals hidden gems and enduring delicacies from across this extraordinary country, contextualizing each meal with the stories behind the food in a cultural narrative complemented by stunning color photography. Whether you’ve visited Spain or have only dreamed of bellying up to its tapas bars, Grape, Olive, Pig will wake your imagination, rouse your hunger, and capture your heart.

My Two Cents:

A book like "Grape, Olive, Pig" should carry a warning level and that warning level should say something like "Do not read on an empty stomach." I would also be inclined to add "Make sure you already have a future trip to Spain planned." Unfortunately for me, I do not have a trip to Spain booked... yet but this book makes me think that Spain needs to be a little higher up on my list.

This book is a exploration of all of the delicious food that Spain has to offer. The author lives in Spain and is married to a Spanish woman. He is from the United States but fell in love with the gastronomic culture of the country and treats readers to a first hand look at what makes Spain such a rich food culture. In the tradition of shows like "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain" (who put his name on this book!), this book explores in a way that will make readers feel like they're right alongside of the author as he eats delectable seafood for a late night dinner and steaming, hot churros for breakfast in the morning.

The writing is soooo very detailed in the book and all of the detail leaps off of the page. This is exactly why you can't read this book on an empty stomach. The book is broken down by regions, which really made me appreciate how different the menus and food culture is throughout Spain where people are more inclined to associate themselves with region rather than country. In addition to just talking about delicious food, I really liked that the author included tips for traveling to Spain as well as profiles of various people associated with the food world in Spain.

This book is travel writing done right. Goulding fully immerses readers in a new world where the writing is so detailed that you can taste the food and picture exactly what the world of the Spaniards looks, feels, and sounds like. This was a true treat for me! This book is the definition of what armchair traveling should feel like!

This is the second book in a series from "Roads and Kingdoms," a website that brings together travel, food, and culture. The first book was "Rice, Noodle, Fish," which was an exploration of food culture in Japan and after reading this book, I'm very excited to read the first book!


1 comment:

  1. I LOVE travel writing that mixes food and location like this - it is a sure way to wake up my inner travel bug!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.


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