Far Afield: Rare Food Encounters from Around the World by Shane Mitchell
Far Afield: Rare Food Encounters from Around the World by Shane Mitchell is a one of a kind hybrid book- a cross between a travel and culture book and and a cookbook. Looking at the cover and title- one might think this is a sociology or book on geography. The subtitle reveals the true extend of this book- a collection of recipes. This recipe book features regional and traditional foods in the context of a documentary or article of a particular geographic area or culture. This book features an eclectic mix of cultures including the Day of the Dead celebration, Fishermen of Kenya, impoverished refugees of France and primitive tribes of India- just to name a few. In an ironic plot twist, impoverished, third world cultures are portrayed as authentic and natural as serene and impressive photos are set side by side photography and recipes for their local ethnic foods. Impoverished and simple cultures are portrayed as having rich cultural roots with a complex mix of foods. The author turns basic, simple, tribal living as upscale, mysterious and even exotic. The reader will think twice about any longstanding stereotypes and preconceived ideas of different cultures. The vivid photography brings faraway places and people close to home. I found this more than just a cookbook, but more of a cultural experience- a glimpse into faraway and overlooked societies. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by 10 Speed Press for the purpose of writing this review.