Feasting Wild: In Search of the Last Untamed Food
by Gina Rae LA Cerva
A global culinary adventure tracing our relationship to wild foods — and wildness itself.
A New York Times Book Review Summer Reading Selection “Delves into not only what we eat around the world, but what we once ate and what we have lost since then.”— The New York Times Book Review Two centuries ago, nearly half the North American diet was foraged, hunted, or caught in the wild. Today, so-called “wild foods ” are becoming expensive luxuries, served to the wealthy in top restaurants . Meanwhile, people who depend on wild foods for survival and sustenance find their lives forever changed as new markets and roads invade the world’s last untamed landscapes. In Feasting Wild , geographer and anthropologist Gina Rae La Cerva embarks on a global culinary adventure to trace our relationship to wild foods . Throughout her travels, La Cerva reflects on how colonialism and the extinction crisis have impacted wild spaces, and reveals what we sacrifice when we domesticate our foods —including biodiversity, Indigenous and women’s knowledge, a vital connection to nature, and delicious flavors. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, La Cerva investigates the violent “bush meat” trade, tracking elicit delicacies from the rainforests of the Congo Basin to the dinner tables of Europe. In a Danish cemetery, she forages for wild onions with the esteemed staff of Noma. In Sweden––after saying goodbye to a man known only as The Hunter––La Cerva smuggles freshly-caught game meat home to New York in her suitcase, for a feast of “heartbreak moose.” Thoughtful, ambitious, and wide-ranging, Feasting Wild challenges us to take a closer look at the way we eat today, and introduces an exciting new voice in food journalism.
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