"Bats and beets, silk worms and stewed prunes, scorpions and scampi, flamingo and flan, ostrich and okra - what we eat and what we don't eat is largely a matter of habit, history and geographical circumstances," author Jerry Hopkins writes in the introduction to Strange Foods. Chock-full of bizarre gastronomic information from far-flung reaches, stirred up with bits of anthropological and autobiographical information, Jerry Hopkins has created a masterpiece about what we eat. The adventurous reader will find chapters on such delicacies as rat, dog, elephant, and buffalo. If reptiles are more to your liking, you'll find information on edible lizards, snakes, and toads. In the final section, entitled "Leftovers," Hopkins highlights such ersatz delicacies as fake food and gold and silver. With 250 full-color photographs by Michael Freeman, Strange Foods is sure to shock and delight.
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Jerry Hopkins has published more than 1,000 magazine articles and 26 books, including three international best sellers, No One Here Gets Out Alive, The Lizard King: The Essential Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix Experience. A correspondent and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine for nearly twenty years, Hopkins now resides in Bangkok, where he has developed a strong reputation as a travel writer, and writes regularly for publications such as The New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler. Michael Freeman has published 23 books on photography. His work has appeared internationally in such magazines as National Geographic, GQ, and Life.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
In their natural state, as they go bobbing merrily along, carried by the wind and ocean tides, jellyfish offer an unlikely source of food. Like so many other food sources in this book, in addition to an unseemly appearance, many species have a nasty reputation for painfully intruding on human lives, in this case, stinging swimmers and waders enjoying the sea.
It's no surprise that many people think jellyfish are a strange thing to eat. The beast itself floats to a different drummer. They have been on the earth for more than 650 million years, going back pre-dinosaur and shark (and, some might say, rudely, given all that time, they still haven't developed much talent or personality). It gets its name from its "jelly bag," a sort of skin filled with gelatinous secretion that makes it more than 95% water-human beings, one of the other wettest creatures on earth, measure a little more than seventy percent-and it has no heart, brain, or bones, being held together by muscle fibers. Its stomach is connected directly to its mouth, the only opening in its body.
Jellyfish in its natural form is off-putting, but so are many other delicious foods. Once harvested and the tentacles are removes, and the large flat tops are dried, it looks no more threatening than a large dried mushroom. The most popular species reaches fifteen to twenty inches in diameter and when dried is sold in one pound bags. Preparation requires soaking them for about eight hours, changing the water two or three times. The blubbery flesh is then parboiled quickly and rinsed under cold water, and sliced thinly.
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Book Description The Peripatetic Press, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. Hopkins, Jerry. STRANGE FOODS: BUSH MEAT, BATS, AND BUTTERFLIES. Periplus Editions, c1999. 232pp. bibliography. Photos by Michael Freeman. 4to, New hardcover in d/w,. Bookseller Inventory # 34954
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