Feeding A Yen

(Random House, $22.95)

When he wants good food, Calvin Trillin doesn't have much need to leave his Greenwich Village neighborhood. But he maintains a "Register of Frustration and Deprivation," containing "favorite dishes in one part of the world or another [that] rarely seem to be served outside the territory of origin." In this new collectionsome were magazine pieceswe meet Trillin on a mission to be reacquainted with such fondly remembered dishes, and, with luck, discover new favorites. Trillin is no food snob. If the best ceviche comes from a stand in a ramshackle shed in Lima, Peru, or the best boudin is sold at a gas station, well, that's where he goes: through Spain, Ecuador, Peru, France, Mexico, and many spots in the U.S, including his hometown of Kansas City, Mo., and Santa Fe, N.M. He is also on a secondary mission: trying to lure his two grown daughters home from the West Coast with temptations like the "magic bagel" and a surfeit of take-out and delivered food. Longtime fans of Trillin's food writing will look forward to hearing more of Alice, his beloved wife, fellow voyager, and conscience. Sadly, Alice died in September 2001. Readers will miss her role as Greek chorus on the Trillin stage. Always up for a trip, she was a woman who knew her limits and often tried to get her husband to recognize his. ("Do you think you really have to taste every single one?" she often enquired. He always did.). One caveat: Do not read this book as dinner time approaches. It could ruin you, unless you are dining from the Register of Frustration and Deprivation. Calvin Trillin will read at Third Place Books (17171 Bothell Way N.E., 206-366-3333 in LAKE FOREST PARK) 7:30 p.m. Tues., June 3. jgarrett@seattleweekly.com

 
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