Title: Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters and the Making of a New American Food Culture
Author: Dana Goodyear
Acquired: From the publisher for review consideration
From Bloggers Recommend: American foodies and wannabes are moving to the fringes of cuisine in pursuit of new delicacies (some disgusting, other dangerous). Dana Goodyear explores this extreme, underground food culture with a sense of adventure and a strong stomach. Pick up this book if you’ve ever seen a dish (in person or just on television) and wondered, Is that really food?
Review: Although I had to give up my subscription to The New Yorker, one of my nonfiction weaknesses is books written by staff writers or contributors to that magazine. No matter the subject, having that little endorsement indicates, to me, that at the very least the book is going to be well reported and well written. All that is to say that I may not have picked up Anything That Moves if author Dana Goodyear wasn’t a staff writer at The New Yorker, which would have been a shame since this was definitely an enjoyable read.
In Anything That Moves, Goodyear goes behind the scenes of America’s extreme foodie culture, with an attitude that seems like a mix between Mary Roach and Anthony Bourdain. She interviews chefs that are cooking with food banned by the FDA, dealers providing illegal and/or endangered delicacies, and scavengers who make it possible to cook with insects and other taboo foods. These are people who are on the far edges of what most of us would consider “normal” eating who are helping fundamentally change the way we think about what we eat.
There are quite a few characters in this book who share and eat and enjoy and revel in foods that made my stomach turn just reading about them. This is a subculture that I’ll never, ever find myself in, which makes it a fun read. Goodyear is very open-minded about the people she meets and honest about both the benefits and dangers of making different food choices more mainstream. If you’re at all into food nonfiction, this book should move to the top of your reading list.
If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to the main post. All I ask is for you to do the same to mine — thanks!