"A great resource and enticing companion for anyone who likes to eat and to travel. Jodi's handbook is a reminder that if we stay open to the possibilities, food can be a gateway to expanding our horizons wherever we are."
- Naomi Duguid, James Beard award-winning writer, author of Burma: Rivers of Flavor
"If you're looking to read one book about how to eat out while traveling, this is it. Jodi understands that it isn't just about the food. It's also a quest, a chance to create an adventure, a memory, and a connection to the local culture."
- Tyler Cowen, author of An Economist Gets Lunch
Jodi Ettenberg provides a personal and practical road map to understanding the part food plays in cultures and how to better experience those cultures through street-level eats. A bonus: she guides readers in navigating the perils of potentially dicey food, favoring caution instead of fear."
- Spud Hilton, travel editor, San Francisco Chronicle
From the Author
I grew up in a household that was not focused on food. We ate - did we ever! - but spicy foods and creative cooking were not part of my childhood. It was only when I started traveling that I realized how varied foods around the world could be. Each region had a distinct way of cooking and spicing, and a geographic food footprint to call its own. Discovering food by eating it abroad went far beyond the international restaurants I sampled growing up in Montreal and later while working as a lawyer in New York.
I traveled for shorter periods on vacations from my law firm, but I wanted to see more. Once I had saved up enough funds to quit for a year of travel, I left New York to see the world for myself. That one year morphed into two, then three and now almost four-and-a-half years. As I traveled, my journey shifted perceptibly from a focus on places and people, to a focus on those places and people through their food.
When I left New York, I started a website, Legal Nomads, to chronicle my misadventures and keep my friends and family apprised of my whereabouts. Over the years I've been thrilled to see the site grow into its own, with a passionate community of readers who also love to experience the world. And they love their food.
As I continued to focus more and more on the anthropology of what we eat (and why we eat it), the idea of a food book took form. I received emails from worried travelers who wanted to eat at street stalls but feared becoming ill. At the same time, I found myself encouraging others who did not focus on food to use eating as a guide, a way of understanding a new place.The Food Traveler's Handbook
explores both of these sentiments. It addresses why food matters and how travelers can explore the world through the many ingredients we find on our plates. It also tackles very valid safety concerns, from sourcing fresh eats to finding market stalls that serve hygienic meals. The book focuses primarily on cheaper food in developing countries, but its principles and tips can be applied worldwide.