Road food

Road food

Food Network star Alton Brown has a new mini-series coming at the end of July called “Feasting on Asphalt,” in which he travels cross-country by motorcycle, stopping in small towns at random to find what’s left of culinary authenticity in road food.

Brown’s trip through the Utah desert was just part of his latest culinary journey _ the search for what he calls “road food,” the local and regional cuisine that hungry travelers used to find along the nation’s highways before the interstate system came along and the fast-food craze brought a McDonald’s at every exit.

… “If I’ve learned anything, or had anything confirmed that I had hunches about, it’s that the real important part of food is hospitality,” he said. “The breaking of bread—it’s the thing that holds all of us together. And it’s the thing we’re losing by eating in our SUVs.”

Interesting that he would use that phrase: the breaking of the bread is really what holds us together, both in common food and in the panis angelicum, the Eucharist. Anyway, this entry wasn’t meant to wax theological. I’m just interested in some new Alton Brown cooking and food shows. Incidentally, episode 4 features a nasty bike wipeout in Nevada that left him with a broken clavicle. Ouch. That’s sacrificing for your art and audience.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
1 comment
  • I’ve watched AB’s show “Good Eats” since its inception.  My kids love it, too.  However, the shine on his halo dimmed considerably when he made some less than nice comments about his larger-than-average fans. I also lost confidence in his product suggestions when he began to shill for GE.

      As for road food (a term that AB did not originate), you may want to check out the writings of Jane and Michael Stern.  They have a new book out about their decades of culinary adventures on the back roads of America, and have also updated their original book on the subject.

      Also, the wonderful food scientist, Shirley Corriher, who has appeared on AB’s show, has her own dvd now.  If you don’t already own it, her book is the next cooking book you ought to buy.  If I could only have only one food/cooking book, it would be Shirley’s.  Harold McGee’s would be next. Between them, you’d never need a recipe book.  Besides, Shirley is the lively, funny and warm Southern grandma I wish my children had.

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