Gastro Obscura

A Food Adventurer's Guide


By Cecily Wong

By Dylan Thuras

By Atlas Obscura

Formats and Prices




$53.95 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 12, 2021. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A New York Times, USA Today, and national indie bestseller.

A Feast of Wonder!
Created by the ever-curious minds behind Atlas Obscura, this breathtaking guide transforms our sense of what people around the world eat and drink. Covering all seven continents, Gastro Obscura serves up a loaded plate of incredible ingredients, food adventures, and edible wonders. Ready for a beer made from fog in Chile? Sardinia’s “Threads of God” pasta? Egypt’s 2000-year-old egg ovens? But far more than a menu of curious minds delicacies and unexpected dishes, Gastro Obscura reveals food’s central place in our lives as well as our bellies, touching on history–trace the network of ancient Roman fish sauce factories. Culture–picture four million women gathering to make rice pudding. Travel–scale China’s sacred Mount Hua to reach a tea house. Festivals–feed wild macaques pyramid of fruit at Thailand’s Monkey Buffet Festival. And hidden gems that might be right around the corner, like the vending machine in Texas dispensing full sized pecan pies. Dig in and feed your sense of wonder.
“Like a great tapas meal, Gastro Obscura is deep yet snackable, and full of surprises. This is the book for anyone interested in eating, adventure and the human condition.” –Tom Colicchio, chef and activist
“This exquisite guide kept me at the breakfast table until dinner time.” –Kyle Maclachlan, actor and vintner



Great Britain and Ireland
Western Europe ○ Eastern Europe

great britain and ireland

Friday Night Pudding Feast

The Pudding Club at the Three Ways House Hotel ○ england

From the outside, the Three Ways House Hotel is a typical 19th-century British bed-and-breakfast, made out of golden stone and engulfed in ivy. On Friday nights, however, the hotel plays host to the Pudding Club—an institution with a self-proclaimed mission of preserving the “great British pudding.”

Since 1985, dozens of dessert-lovers from around the world have gathered weekly to gorge on a banquet of British puddings, presented with pomp by the hotel’s resident Pudding Master—the mastermind who curates the menu. Traditionally, British pudding is a cake-like dish made with suet, or hardened animal fat, that’s steamed for hours and can be sweet or savory. But the word can also apply to desserts in general, and at the Pudding Club, the Friday feast includes traditional puddings like jam roly-poly, spotted dick, and sticky toffee pudding, as well as non-steamed puddings like rice pudding, sliced-bread-and-fruit summer pudding, apple crumble, passion fruit roulade, and syrup sponge cake.

The seven-course pudding extravaganza is a feat of endurance, and those who make it through the evening are awarded a certificate. According to Pudding Master Lucy Williams, the club is not just about indulgence, but celebrating dishes that have fallen out of modern favor.

How to try it

Interested parties must call the hotel and book in advance. After gorging on pudding, you can sleep in one of the hotel’s seven dessert-themed rooms.

The Three Ways House Hotel was originally a doctor’s house.

Brawny Liquid Beef

Bovril ○ England

In 1870, as Napoleon III led his troops into the Franco-Prussian War, he ordered one million cans of beef to feed his men. The request went to a Scottish butcher living in Canada named John Lawson Johnston, who tweaked a recipe for meat glaze to make “beef fluid,” a thick, glossy paste that tastes exactly as you might guess: very salty and very beefy. The result was Bovril, England’s iconic concentrated beef paste.

Bovril was touted as a constitution-boosting, meaty superfood that could be spread on buttered toast or diluted and drunk as a restorative tea. Marketing claims (some endorsed by real scientists) declared the paste could make the infirm well, the elderly strong, and the young healthy. One advertisement even claimed that “Bovril fortifies the system against influenza.”

Victorians loved the beef-in-a-jar. From breakfast tables to hospitals to football stadiums, a hot thermos of Bovril tea became the preferred way to warm up and gain strength. The foodstuff was considered patriotic—it fed British soldiers during the Boer War—and it was celebrity approved.

Ernest Shackleton ate Bovril during his 1902 Antarctic expedition. Famous Victorian strongman Eugen Sandow claimed Bovril gave him strength. Even Pope Leo XIII was depicted in a Bovril ad (albeit without his permission) drinking a mug of beef broth above the slogan: “Two Infallible Powers: The Pope and Bovril.”

Fluid beef made Johnston a very wealthy man. In 1896, he sold Bovril for £2 million and died four years later, in Cannes, on a yacht.

How to try it

Beloved Bovril is widely available in British supermarkets. If you’re interested in how the beef extract has been marketed over the decades, visit the Museum of Brands in Notting Hill, London. It has a bunch of old Bovril posters and vintage-style merchandise.

Early 20th-century ads for England’s favorite liquid-beef-in-a-can.

A Kingly Liquor to Drink While Driving

The King’s Ginger ○ england

King Edward VII was 62 when he took the throne from his mother, Queen Victoria, in 1901. Elderly and overweight, he still partied hard. His joyrides around the English countryside in his topless Daimler exposed him to the very British elements (chilly and damp) and concerned the royal physician.

In 1903, the doctor commissioned an established London merchant, Berry Bros., to formulate a warming, fortifying beverage to put in the aging monarch’s driving flask. The result was The King’s Ginger, a brandy-based elixir with ginger, honey, and lemon, designed specifically “to stimulate and revivify His Majesty during morning rides.”

The king loved his new zesty liqueur. Not only did he drink it in his “horseless carriage,” he brought it along while hunting and generously passed around the bottle. By the time Edward died in 1910, the royal family was hooked. Berry Bros. continued to make and sell The King’s Ginger exclusively to nobility, who purchased hundreds of cases of it every year in unlabeled bottles.

In recent years, a bartender asked the maker, now Berry Bros. & Rudd, for a standardized version of the elusive drink, and the company enlisted a Dutch distiller to make the beverage for the masses. A modern version debuted in 2011, using a base of neutral grain spirits instead of brandy, along with ginger, lemon oil, Glenrothes single malt scotch, and sugar. At 82 proof, it takes just a few sips to get your engine revving.

How to try it

Find The King’s Ginger (for the masses) online and at retailers across the UK, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.


The Lost Caves ○ england

Damp, dimly lit, and decorated with skulls, chandeliers, and stuffed animals, this secret drinking establishment is part of the extensive cave system that’s cut into the soft sandstone below the city of Nottingham.

Accessed via a dark and uninviting alley, through a heavily disguised door with a brass skull handle, you’ll find a staircase to the basement beneath a 200-year-old building. In this basement, a further series of rock-cut steps leads into the cavernous void beneath the city. The final descent into the Lost Caves is by escort, as there is a strict maximum occupancy. Inside, 26 feet (8 m) below the venerable George Hotel (now the Mecure), which has accommodated guests as diverse as Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Taylor, is a most unlikely cocktail palace.

When, why, and by whom these deep grottoes were excavated is unknown; however, they appear to have been adapted for the purpose of storing and brewing ale on rock-cut ledges. Today, instead of barrels of beer, the cushion-padded rock ledges are used as seating for the bar’s subterranean drinkers.

How to try it

The access to the Lost Caves is somewhere in the vicinity of the Mecure Hotel and the Lost Property Bar. Dress warmly. Any more information would spoil the fun.

Beneath the streets of Hockley is one of Nottingham’s best-kept secrets.

Outlawed ice-Cream ware

Penny Lick ○ england

Penny licks were England’s most nefarious ice-cream paraphernalia. As the name suggests, a few licks of ice cream cost just a penny. Included in that price was the sizable risk of contracting tuberculosis.

In the mid-1800s, ice cream had become a beloved and affordable treat, sold all over the streets of England. Ice-cream vendors called Jacks served tiny scoops in glass cups called penny licks, which came in three sizes: the standard and most popular penny lick, the wee ha’penny (halfpenny) lick, and the larger tu’penny (two penny) lick.

These small glasses were designed especially for ice cream—or more specifically, for an ice-cream optical illusion. As Jacks paddled the dessert into the cup, the conical shape and thick glass magnified its contents so that even the tiniest serving appeared bountiful.

After finishing their ice cream, customers licked their glasses clean and handed them back to the Jack, who would serve the next customers from the unwashed cups.

When tuberculosis swept the nation, the medical establishment pointed to the penny licks. An 1879 English medical report blamed a cholera outbreak on the reuse of glassware, and fear of tuberculosis led the city of London to ban penny licks in 1899. Some vendors continued to use the illicit ice-cream cups through the 1920s and 1930s, until a breakthrough in ice-cream technology eradicated the need for their glassware for good. The mighty waffle cone emerged as the new single-use vessel of choice, knocking out the penny lick with its portability, edibility, and complete absence of infectious disease.

How to try it

Penny licks are a rare collectible these days. Wash well before using.

“The Noted Eel-and-Pie Houses”

M. Manze ○ england

The M. Manze Eel and Pie House at 87 Tower Bridge Road is the oldest eel-and-pie shop still standing in London. Open three or four hours a day, Manze’s serves only lunch, and their lunch menu consists of just two things: eels and pies.

Throughout the 1700s, eels were so plentiful in the River Thames that a net cast at any spot would pull up a hearty catch of cheap protein. Working-class East Londoners, or Cockneys, grew to love them, and eels became the go-to meal for the city’s workhands. Capitalizing on the eel craze, pie shops (which generally trafficked in mutton and potatoes) started serving them up how their clients liked them: naturally jellied.

Thanks to a huge amount of collagen, eels are gelatinous by nature. With skin and bones intact, round chunks of eel are boiled in water flavored with vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and onion, then left to cool in the liquid, which gently congeals into a translucent jelly. These quivering hunks of cold, tender meat are considered Britain’s first fast-food takeaway, commonly scooped into cups, doused with hot chili vinegar, and eaten on the go.

By the end of World War II, London boasted more than 100 eel-and-pie shops—but as the Thames grew polluted, supply decreased and the city’s interest in eel eating waned.

At Manze’s, eels are still king. They can be ordered cold and jellied or hot and stewed, or served with mash and slathered in “liquor”—an alcohol-free parsley sauce that also goes on pies. The small, no-frills shop is operated by the grandson of the original owner, Michele Manze, who came to London in 1878 from the Italian village of Ravello. The decor, with its green-and-white tiles and long communal tables, hearkens back to Victorian days, when eels reigned supreme.

How to try it

M. Manze has three locations in London—the Tower Bridge location is the oldest. The second oldest, on Peckman High Street, was built in 1927.

A server at Manze’s adds parsley sauce to a plate of mash and pie.

Table Etiquette in the Victorian Age

Nineteenth-century England was rife with highly specialized eating utensils, serving devices, and table decor—especially extravagant in well-to-do homes. Designed in the spirit of gentility over essential function, Victorian kitchen gadgetry served a higher purpose, which was impressing dinner guests, brandishing status, and proving just how fabulous a fussy table could be.

Ice-Cream Forks

The first recorded owner of a table fork was an 11th-century Byzantine princess who died of plague. Some said this was an apt punishment for using a fork, which looked suspiciously like the devil’s pitchfork. The Victorians had no such concerns, and forks were used with abandon. A spoon could be used when eating a bowl of ice cream but the ice-cream fork—a shallow, three-tined protospork—was used exclusively for eating ice cream served on a plate.

Mustache Cups

Impressively shaped mustaches of the era looked stately and dignified until confronted with a hot cup of tea. The heat melted the mustache wax, causing the corners to droop.

In the 1870s, British potter Harvey Adams invented the mustache cup, featuring a patented, wing-shaped ledge that created a handy barrier between facial hair and tea.

The cups came in many shapes and sizes, from the large pint-size “farmers’ cups” to small porcelain pieces sculpted like conch shells or embossed with the name of the owner.

Celery Vases

Wild celery, native to the Mediterranean, wasn’t cultivated in England until the early 1800s, and it didn’t grow easily. Those who succeeded in obtaining some celery needed a way to flaunt it. Glass-blown celery vases—featuring embellishments like fluted edges and the owners’ name engraved on the bottom—were used as centerpieces on fashionable tables.

Pickle Castors

These jewel-toned, pressed-glass jars were a mainstay on posh Victorian tables. The castors were fitted in a silver holder, accompanied by small silver tongs, and were embellished with anything from personal messages to gargoyles.

Beyond their role as ritzy table decor, pickle castors signaled that a home employed enough servants to prepare pickles, and display the produce.

Pie Birds

Placed in the middle of a pie, the small, hollow ceramic birds released steam from the hot filling, while appearing to blow huge gusts of air through their upturned mouths.

The idea was that this bird chimney would vent the pie and keep any juices from bubbling over, but as any baker knows, a few cuts with a knife would perform the same trick, albeit without the avian whimsy.

Mead-Making Paradise

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

In the 7th century, at the request of King Oswald of Northumbria, Irish monk Saint Aidan established a monastery on the isolated tidal island of Lindisfarne. The monastery, which survives in ruins, would become the base for spreading Christianity throughout Anglo-Saxon England. Many also believe that the Lindisfarne monks were excellent mead-makers, who crafted the golden liquid in the name of spirituality. Mead is one of the oldest tipples in the world, appearing in ancient Greek texts, Hindu scriptures, and Norse mythology, in which drinking certain meads was a pathway to scholarly intelligence.

Often called the elixir of the gods, it’s fitting that some of the finest mead is produced on “Holy Island.” While monks no longer helm the operation, mead-maker J. Michael Hackett was drawn to the history of Lindisfarne. In the early 1960s, he opened St. Aidan’s Winery on the island and set about making a modern version of the ancient brew, which he called Lindisfarne Mead. Drawing cues from the ancient Romans, who included grape juice in their meads, the team at St. Aidan’s starts with a base of fermented honey, adding aromatic herbs, fermented wine grapes, and water drawn from a local well. A neutral spirit fortifies the holy mixture, which tasters describe as light, silky, and dry. The medieval mead from the tiny island (population 180) is now distributed internationally.

How to try it

St. Aidan’s Winery is open to the public during Lindisfarne Island’s “open tide” times, when the island is safely reachable by causeway. About twice a day, during high tide, the island becomes inaccessible.

Indian Curry IN BRITAIN

During their 200-year occupation of India, the British developed a fondness for the country’s complex, pungently spiced cuisine. Curry, especially, made a big splash in the 19th-century English diet: Housewives worked hard to re-create Indian flavors with domestic ingredients while Queen Victoria, credited with making curry fashionable in England, employed an Indian staff who prepared food for the royal family.

To make the dish more accessible, Brits invented curry powder in the 18th century. The spice blend, with its base of turmeric, garlic, cumin, and fenugreek, was a far cry from Indian cooking, where different dishes were spiced uniquely and the catch-all word curry did not exist. (The word curry is likely a bastardization of the Tamil word kari, which, depending on how it’s pronounced, can mean “to blacken” or “to bite.” Fifteenth-century Portuguese colonists took it as an all-purpose word for Indian food: curry.) As British influence spread around the globe, so did curry powder, which was introduced as a British food to countless cuisines in places like Japan, Thailand, and the Caribbean. Even Indians, working abroad as indentured laborers, were given rations of curry powder with their pay.

In the mid-20th century, Bangladeshi immigrants arrived in London, mostly jumping ship at the port after toiling in the engine room on long steamship voyages from India. The new arrivals bought up small cafés and “chippies” (fish and chips shops) that had been damaged by the bombings in World War II and could be had for a bargain. Alongside the English standards, these new shops sold curry and rice for the growing South Asian community. They also stayed open late—a strategic move to attract the English drinking crowd, who began to order curry as their post-pub meal, sometimes with rice, sometimes with chips.

A chef tends to trays of yellow curry in a stall at the Southbank Centre food market in London.

The influx of Indian immigrants throughout the 20th century kept curry pumping through the country. Chicken tikka masala, the creamy tomato curry found on every Indian restaurant menu, is perhaps the dish that best represents the British Indian palate. Most food historians believe the dish was created in the UK by an accommodating Indian chef. When his Indian chicken preparation was too dry for gravy-loving English tastes, the chef drowned the tandoori meat in sauce, creating a curry that sells tens of millions of servings every year. As of 2015, one of every five restaurants in the UK serves curry, and the most popular among them is chicken tikka masala.

What was once a cheap option for takeout has become a point of pride for Britain. Michelin stars and international honors now decorate the walls of many Indian restaurants in the UK. The British Curry Awards, modeled after the American Academy Awards, is a televised black-tie affair that holds a distinguished place on the British social calendar (former prime minister David Cameron called them the “Curry Oscars”). Culinary luminaries, along with celebrities, come together to honor the best Indian restaurants in the UK. The neon-lit venue holds 2,000 esteemed guests, and the ceremony is syndicated around the world, from Europe to Australia, the Middle East to South Africa, where it’s enjoyed by millions of curry fans.

A Fabled Fish Head Pie

Stargazy Pie

Tom Bawcock’s Eve, a Christmastime festival held in the Cornish seaside village of Mousehole, celebrates the night that Tom Bawcock, a 16th-century Mousehole folk hero, sailed out to fish despite dangerous storms. As the story goes, he returned with enough catch to end a local famine. In some versions of the tale, Bawcock brought along his cat, who helped calm the storm.

To honor the brave fisherman, revelers tuck into stargazy pie, a classic savory fish pie of potatoes, eggs, and white sauce, with the added flourish of intact fish heads (and sometimes tails) craning their necks through the crust, as though looking up at the stars. An anchovy-like fish called a pilchard is typically used, but really any small fish will do—so long as it has a head.

How to try it

Tom Bawcock’s Eve is held annually on December 23. The Ship Inn, a historic pub perched on the edge of the harbor’s wall, gives out free stargazy pie to celebrate the holiday, often doled out by a local fisherman dressed as Tom Bawcock.

A Coffee Bar in a Victorian-Era Urinal

The Attendant, Fitzrovia ○ England

These ornate, underground urinals once served the Victorian gentlemen of London. Now they serve diners espresso, flat whites, and avocado toast. Walk down the stairs to take your seat at one of the full-size, porcelain urinals and sip your coffee among the most elite, historical toilets in Fitzrovia.

Originally built in the 1890s, these public toilets were closed in the 1960s. They sat boarded up for more than 50 years before being reimagined as an upscale coffee bar.

How to try it

The Attendant has other shops in London, but only the Fitzrovia location (27A Foley Street, London) has the urinals.

Health Milk on a Budget

Artificial Asses’ Milk ○ england

Since antiquity, donkey milk has been used as a cure-all and cosmetic—by those who could afford it. Cleopatra was said to bathe in tubs full of asses’ milk to preserve her skin. Hippocrates recommended donkey milk for a range of conditions, including liver problems and fever, and from the 1700s to the early 1900s, Europeans considered donkey milk a superfood that cured lung problems, blood problems, and even hysteria. Poet Alexander Pope drank donkey milk for his many health issues, writing in a 1717 letter, “I also drink asses’ milk, upon which I will make no jokes tho’ it be a fertile subject.” The composition of asses’ milk closely resembles human breast milk, and so orphanages and new parents found it a helpful supplement.

But asses’ milk was not cheap, and those looking for an affordable alternative attempted to replicate the natural product. An 18th-century recipe for “Mock Asses Milk” begins with boiling barley in water, adding hartshorn (ground-up deer antlers), enrigo root (a thistle-like plant believed to soothe coughs), and a handful of snail shells, and then diluting the brew with cow’s milk.

Snails show up in almost all the renditions of ersatz donkey milk—often tossed in whole. The “Mock Asses Milk” author included a finger-wagging note at the end of his recipe, saying, “You may leave out the snails if you don’t like them, but it is best to use them.”

How to try it

Making artificial asses’ milk has fallen out of fashion, but if you must, snail season starts in the summer.

The Knights Templar Longevity Diet

Graybeards were a rare sight in the 13th century. Male life expectancy—even for the wealthy—was just 31 years. For those who made it to their twenties, that number jumped to 48 years. The Knights Templar, then, were an extraordinary exception: Many members of the Catholic military order lived long past 60, and even then, they usually died at the hands of their enemies rather than from illness. While many believed the knights’ longevity was bestowed upon them from above, modern research suggests the order’s strict dietary rules could have been the vital force behind their health.

The knights, an order of renowned fighters, warriors, and jousters, are believed to have lived genuinely humble lives. Early in the 12th century, a long and complex rulebook called the Primitive Rule of the Templars established the knights’ vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Knights were ordered to eat together silently, and table items were to be passed “quietly and privately … with all humility and submission.” The men also ate in a kind of buddy system. Due to an alleged “shortage of bowls,” two knights shared one eating vessel, and each man was ordered to monitor his eating partner, making sure he wasn’t taking more than his share or eating too little. (As the order was notoriously rich, this bowl sharing was likely a demonstration of abstinence.)

Balancing the fasting demands of the devout and the nutritional requirements of active, military lives, the knights alternated days of meat eating and vegetarianism. Three days a week, the knights ate meat—usually beef, ham, or bacon—which was especially abundant on Sundays. Meatless days brought bread, milk, eggs, cheese, grains, and vegetable stews to the table. On Fridays the knights fasted, which meant land animals were replaced by fish. Their varied diet was supplemented with wine, served in moderate and diluted rations. By medieval standards, these practices put the knights at the apex of clean and sensible living, which extended their lifetimes well beyond what was considered, at the time, possible without divine intervention.

Jacques de Molay (ca. 1243–1314), last Grand Master of the Knights Templar.

Dormant Underground Dairy

Bog Butter ○ ireland

When digging up peat in rural Ireland, it’s not uncommon to bump into a huge block of butter. Wrapped in animal skins or packed into a wooden or earthenware container, chances are the butter has been buried for hundreds of years, and while it might be too funky to actually be tasty, it’s likely still safe to eat.


  • "[Wong and Thuras'] lavishly photographed volume, more eye-opening than mouthwatering, slakes (and often quells) the armchair gourmand’s appetite. Combing 120 nations and all the continents... they have produced a cabinet of culinary curiosities." —​The New York Times Book Review

    "You cannot help but be drawn to Gastro Obscura.” —​The New York Times

    "There’s so much information in this book. If you love food, the photos are beautiful and for me, it really made me feel like on my couch like I was getting back out there and traveling again. That’s why I love this book. They know what they’re doing. These books are always good, they’re filled with facts, you gotta pick it up.” —​bestselling author Isaac Fitzgerald on the TODAY Show 

    "Dylan Thuras and... Cecily Wong pull together some of the most unique, interesting, and incredible festivals, food and drink, and culinary obscurities from around the globe, transporting the reader into parts unknown—both edible and otherwise."—​ 

    "[A] colorfully illustrated, totally entertaining tour through global cuisine, particularly the quirky sort." —​ 

    “For the traveler or foodie, this coffee table book can transport them around the world with wonderful stories and photos that will leave their stomachs grumbling—all without ever leaving the couch.”  —​Food 52

    "[A]n enticing read for anyone who is curious about the world. Like a five-star hotel’s platter-stacked buffet artfully arranged to please the eye and palate, Gastro Obscura stimulates aplenty, with hundreds of rich morsels to peruse and savor." —​

    "An incredible celebration of diversity in food" —​Wine Enthusiast 

    "[An] encyclopedic odyssey... This compendium is a must-have." —​Publishers Weekly, starred review 

    "[Gastro Obscura is a] hard-to-put-down book... Pick a region, pick a page—you can’t go wrong. Armchair travelers and foodies will be left hungry, nostalgic, more knowledgeable about dishes from all over, and, most importantly, ready to try something different, whether it’s found around the corner or across the world."—​Library Journal 

    "Irresistible." Booklist 

    "A tome to be savored" - Foreward Reviews

    "[A] casual and fun and yet intelligent treatment of what essentially is a food encyclopedia on the world and its cuisines." —​Nik Sharma, author of The Flavor Equation

    "This captivating book celebrates the incredible global diversity of food, ingredients, and cooking practices. What could be more important in this moment in time than to be so delightfully engaged in the many ways food cultivates—through sometimes eccentric means!—a profound sense of togetherness.” —Alice Waters, chef and author of We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto

    “An ambitious, exciting, and zany anthology of heritage foodways, Gastro Obscura tells the stories no one else is telling. In creating a magnum opus that manages to be simultaneously daring as well as fundamentally delicious, this is a culinary high-wire act of culinary anthropology that delivers on its promise and then some. A must-read for anyone who eats.” —Dan Barber, chef and author of The Third Plate 

    “This book is an incredible celebration of diversity – the many fascinating ways that humanity has figured out how to feed itself. To me, it is really about preservation, the power and importance of remembering old customs and local traditions in order to help us better understand our world today … and into the future.” —José Andrés, chef, restaurateur, and founder of World Central Kitchen

    “Like a great tapas meal, Gastro Obscura is deep yet snackable, and full of surprises. In these pages, you'll find riveting stories of human culture ancient and present, history, climate, mythology, commerce and geography -- all through the lens of that thing you thought you already knew: food.  This is the book for anyone interested in eating, adventure and the human condition.” —Tom Colicchio, chef and activist

    “Thumbing through this exquisite guide kept me at the breakfast table until dinner time.” —Kyle Maclachlan, actor and vintner

On Sale
Oct 12, 2021
Page Count
448 pages

Cecily Wong

Cecily Wong

About the Author

Cecily Wong is a writer at Atlas Obscura, and the author of the novel Diamond Head, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, recipient of an Elle Readers’ Prize, and voted a best debut of the Brooklyn Book Festival. She lives in New York. Dylan Thuras is the cofounder and creative director of Atlas Obscura, as well as a co-author of Atlas Obscura and The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid. He lives in Rosendale, NY. 

Learn more about this author

Dylan Thuras

Dylan Thuras

About the Author

Dylan Thuras is the cofounder and creative director of Atlas Obscura. He lives in Rosendale, NY.

This author is represented by the Hachette Speakers Bureau.

Rosemary Mosco is a science communicator, acclaimed cartoonist, and speaker on all things bird. She's the creator of the webcomic Bird and Moon and has authored many science books for young people, including co-authoring the bestselling Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid. She lives in Massachusetts.

Joy Ang is a freelance artist, children’s book illustrator, and character designer for video games and the animated television series Adventure Time. She lives in Seattle.

Learn more about this author