Mourning his mother’s death and suffering from midlife crisis, food fanatic Simon Majumdar decides to eat his way around the world for a year. The result is an uneven but always entertaining episodic memoir of his adventures. At worst, it’s perfunctorily written and peppered with national stereotyping (“with typical Latin-American machismo...”) At best, as when he writes about his food-obsessed Welsh-Bengali family or provides precisely detailed snapshots of people he meets on the way, it’s funny and sweet.

He visited a number of places I’m familiar with, giving me that “HI BOB!” feeling one gets when one sees a movie shot in one’s hometown, though he usually went off on some path that didn’t touch on what I expected him to write about: in Santa Cruz he spends the entire trip having Thanksgiving dinner at someone’s house, and in Hong Kong he seeks out obscure restaurants only to invariably find that Anthony Bourdain got there first. (Hate to tell you, Simon, but Anthony Bourdain also visited the yakitori joints in Ueno that you enjoyed so much.) I was amused to note that in Xi’an he too was dragged to the touristy dumpling restaurant that shapes the dumplings into walnuts, geese, goldfish, etc – and since he did not say one word about their flavor, I assume he too was underwhelmed.

It’s not a great food memoir, but it is a fun one.

Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything
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