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Everything But the Squeal: Eating the Whole Hog in Northern Spainby John Barlow
Synopses & Reviews
John Barlow, self-confessed glutton, found himself in a tricky situation: living in one of the most meat-loving places on earth, married to a vegetarian.
The Barlows live in Galicia, the misty-green northwest corner of Spain, and home to a population that reveres and consumes every part of the pig. This gets Barlow thinking about the nature of our relationship with food—whats delicious, whats nasty, and what sort of obligation we have to the animals we eat. Over the course of one glorious, bilious year, Barlow vows to eat everything but the squeal.
In his travels, Barlow takes part in the thousand-year-old antthrowing festival of Laza. He makes pig-bladder puddings for carnival. He washes down lots of pork with lots of wine.
In the tradition of Calvin Trillin and Anthony Bourdain, Everything but the Squeal is an adventure in extreme eating, a hilariously quirky travel book, and a perceptive look at how what we eat makes us who we are.
"Self-confessed glutton, travel writer and novelist Barlow (Eating Mammals; Intoxicated) doesn't scrimp on either culinary or cultural delights in this charmingly informative and witty narrative. Barlow, a resident of the relatively unknown corner of Spain, sets himself the task of consuming every part of the staple meat of rural Galicia. Traveling with his Spanish wife, a vegetarian, and his infant son, Barlow serves up vivid tales encountered during the year dedicated to his 'porco-graphical tour.' But this tale is more than a culinary treat. Barlow is a companionable guide expounding upon history, traditions and the personalities of Galicia. His writing style is quick, lively and filled with delicious details. He takes readers on a sublime journey of the senses, including three Carnivals, one in Laza, a thousand-year-old event, combining ant throwing and a 'pig head bacchanal.' He explores why the cousin of Fidel Castro lives at the end of a dark muddy lane in a pokey hamlet, and tracks down Antn, the most famous pig in Galicia. And he indulges in a 12-course meal, including ribs, at one of Spain's most lauded restaurants. 'As the ribs sit in the gentle heat, that glorious, fat-infiltrated meat is slowly transforming into what was for me one of the most spellbinding dishes I have ever eaten.'" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In the tradition of Calvin Trillin and Anthony Bourdain, "Everything but the Squeal" is an adventure in extreme eating, a hilariously quirky travel book, and a perceptive look at how what people eat makes them who they are.
About the Author
JOHN BARLOW studied English literature at Cambridge. He is the author of a collection of novellas, Eating Mammals, which won a Paris Review Discovery Prize, and the novel Intoxicated, which has been translated into four languages. He lives in Spain with his wife and son.
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