cover image Try This: A Modern Guide to Global Eating

Try This: A Modern Guide to Global Eating

Danyelle Freeman. Ecco, $16.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-188178-7

In this wildly ambitious, accessible roundup, journalist Freeman does an admirable job of covering the most popular world cuisines%E2%80%94how to order and eat them%E2%80%94for the general diner and business traveler. Her point of departure is the New York City restaurant, where one can find just about any kind of dish as the natives fashioned it, from British to Vietnamese, and she's evidently consulted the top chiefs for ingredients, ordering tips, and etiquette. There's a good bit of research into what's actually contained in dishes like mincemeat (dried fruit and nuts), Moros y Cristianos (Cuban beans and rice), and many dizzying Asian choices. She also reveals what dim sum means ("touch your heart"), that oregano most defines Greek cuisine, and that the Arabs, not Chinese, probably introduced pasta to Italy. Freeman makes a terrifically enlightening companion for someone embarking on a new culinary experience, say, Korean barbeque, walking the reader through menu choices, accompaniments, spices, and drinks%E2%80%94soju or hof. The Middle Eastern section is a bit of a mishmash of many distinct cultures, while she does a decent exposition on chiles Mexican style, tandoor, and elucidates the many different regional Chinese cuisines. Although she doesn't seem to have traveled much farther than L.A., her focus on restaurant selection and ordering will prove most helpful for American foodies. (June)