Do you know your pollo from your polo, your ghee from your gobi, your sangak from your samosa? Or, most crucially, your Marmite from your Vegemite? The Pocket Diction of Ethnic Foods might be just what you need to navigate the wonders and potential disasters of hard-to-decipher menus in foreign lands.
Even photographers have to eat, and experiencing the local food can be one of the most distinctive and enjoyable aspects of traveling. But even the most adventurous eaters can order poorly when confronted with a menu filled with unfamiliar dishes in a foreign language.
Although the author of the Pocket Dictionary of Ethnic Foods, Daniel Blum, had in mind Americans trying the dazzling array of ethnic cuisine that’s now available in the glittering array of ethnic restaurants that have sprung up in their local neighborhoods, especially in the country’s biggest cities, it’s also a very useful guide for the traveler. Over 1,400 ethnic dishes, pronunciation guides, and an index by ethnicity are packed in a handy pocket-sized volume. And while I’m not generally one for whipping out a guidebook at the dinner table, it’s light and useful enough to earn a place in your backpack the first time you head to a new country. And priced at under $9, it’s quite reasonable considering it could save you from some embarrassing dining faux pas, or worse.