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Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure    by Bill Jamison & Cheryl Alters Jamison order for
Around the World in 80 Dinners
by Bill Jamison
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Having enjoyed all the many cookbooks and travel guides Cheryl and Bill Jamison have written, I was intrigued by Around the World in 80 Dinners: The Ultimate Culinary Adventure. Figuring I couldn't go wrong, I opened this treasure anticipating a good read.

How right I was. Not only are wonderful dishes the authors sought out and consumed laid out on the pages of this new travel guide/cookbook, but the highlights of areas visited also grace the text. Setting out for a prolonged trip three months demanded careful planning. What to take required great thought to avoid being overburdened with luggage. Lining up their frequent flyer miles took both ingenuity and cunning.

So with the intent to celebrate their 20th anniversary, the Jamisons set off, in high spirits. By trip's end, they had decided to focus on their 25th anniversary and more frequent flyer miles. A good solid marriage, no doubt. They ate wonderful, sublime, extraordinary, fiery hot, extremely fresh and highly palatable foods in Bali, Australia, Thailand, India, China, South Africa, France and Brazil. And enjoyed almost every bite. Can't win them all.

With enthusiasm and wit, the Jamisons describe their travels, exhibiting a sense of adventure that most of us wish we had. Their accommodations surpassed their expectations in most cases, with lovely views thrown in to top off each stop. Their goal was to eat as the natives of each country did, not to consume what each country thought American food was. Not a McWhopper on their must-try list. They achieved their goal and then some.

Around the World in 80 Dinners is a thoroughly enjoyable book. I suggest reading it chapter by chapter with something else thrown in between. This book must be put down from time to time to contemplate what has just been read - and to salivate while imagining the foods and their diverse flavors.

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