Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain

"The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps and Bones" by Anthony Bourdain.

I started reading this in late summer/early autumn, but only recently finished it because my leisure reading time has sadly been greatly reduced over the past few months.

This is yet another in my explorations of Tony Bourdain's writings, based on my addiction to his Travel Channel TV show, "No Reservations". The book was originally published back in 2006, so I read the paperback as I have only been watching his TV show for the past couple of years.
Basically, the book is a collection of essays or articles written for either his blog or other publications around the world and re-printed here. It's organized in sections that are pretty self - explanatory: Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Umami and Fiction.

The Fiction section is a short story with the black humor style typical of Bourdain, but with a somewhat unexpected happy ending.

Much of the rest of the book basically sounds like narrative that was (sometimes inexplicably) omitted from episodes of his Travel Channel show. Entertaining, certainly, but unless you're a hardcore Bourdain fan, it may not necessarily be something you'd want to go out of your way to pursue.
The end of the book contains commentary about each one of the chapters -- I didn't read that until reaching the very end and now wish I hadn't. If you read this book, I would suggest reading a chapter, then immediately flipping to the commentary section about that chapter -- it'll definitely be a much more rewarding experience, IMO.