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Discovering the Food of Spain
Author: Paul Richardson
Vivid and richly textured, this is a delightful journey through Spain and Spanish cuisine. Richardson brings to life the fascinating people who grow and cook and eat the hugely varied and still little-known food of Spain.

His vibrant writing takes readers beyond gazpacho and paella and immerses them in the flavorful world of Spanish food -- from the typical coastal cuisine; to the ancient shepherd cooking of the mountains; to the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, and San Sebastián, where chefs are setting the trend for modern cuisine across the globe. His evocative descriptions -- the fried fish in Cádiz; the tender asparagus and sweet crispy lettuce of Navarre; the Catalan calçotada, a feast of grilled spring onions in a nutty, delicately spicy sauce; the whimsical creations of internationally acclaimed chef Ferran Adrià -- are a celebration of the senses.

Richardson traces the roots of Spanish cooking to the landscape, the people, and the history of this beautiful and complex country in this intimately drawn portrait of Spain.

From Publishers Weekly
Traveling from the coasts of Spain to the agricultural interior and the cuisine-crazy cities of San Sebastian, Barcelona and Madrid, British-born food journalist Richardson (a 15-year resident of Spain) achieves ably his goal of "hunting down the people and landscapes that had shaped the eating habits of the nation" by "working from the outside in, as I had gotten to know the country in the first place." In each section, Richardson (Indulgence: Around the World in Search of Chocolate) visits a restaurant of renown and converses with its chef, revealing the evolution of Spanish food from garlic-heavy infusions to the current, bold trend toward wily deconstruction of familiar dishes. Richardson also attends to home-cooked Spanish food, discovering genuine paella and the majestic olive oil of Spain's interior, and remaining fearless in the face of such dishes as a Catalonia soup "from which various ingredients could be seen to emerge as from a swamp: a bird's leg, a sausage, the piece of cod looking like a dirty iceberg." Spain is a big country with many food traditions, and while Richardson goes admirably in-depth on a number of topics, his scope is outsized; a divide-and-conquer approach - narrower focus, multiple volumes - might have proved more satisfying.
©Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
$24.00 (hardcover)
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