Reviews for Offbeat Food


“Alan Ridenour’s rollicking (and, at times, mind-boggling) crash course on exotic (read: weird) foods, who eats them and why, as well as tons of food-related lore from the ancient Romans’ vomitoriums, to tasty rodents, to edible underwear; if it’s about food (or even distantly related), it’s in Ridenour’s book. Trivia never tasted like this before.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Reverend Al, who has honored my hometown with rampaging woodland creatures, murderous clowns, human barbecues, and Charles Mansons sculpted out of Swiss cheese, who brought plague victims to the Renaissance Faire and raw weenies to the L.A. Marathon, has done it again.”
—Jonathan Gold, Restaurant Critic, Gourmet Magazine

“Behind the weirdness, though, is some truly interesting research about the ways and whys of what we eat. The book takes its rightful place next to Offbeat Museums and Offbeat Golf.  In a tour of world foodways, this is a side trip in an off-road vehicle.”
—Ron Berthel, Books Editor, Associated Press

“A Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not feeling pervades this repellent yet oddly fascinating primer of offbeat foods, although be forewarned that the queasy should excuse themselves from the table now…  It’s all, as they say, food for thought.”
Kansas City Star

“…dizzying, awe-inspiring… Ridenour lays out all that is vile, disturbing, kinky, quirky, and enticing about food and how we eat, prepare, wear, and a whole other host of squirm-inducing inhabitations of our life-blood… truly quixotic and provocative”
New City Chicago

“From humble Velveeta to haute-cuisine frog’s legs, Offbeat Food: Adventures in an Omnivorous World (Santa Monica Press, $19.95) is a satisfying repast of weird edibles.”
—Sylvia Carter, New York Newsday

Offbeat Food is a fun, informative, and very personal tribute to the history, comfort, and love we relate to food. The unique style sheds light on the historical, popular, and visceral slices of our most popular and least popular eating traditions.”
—Piero Selvaggio, Chef and Owner of Valentino (Los Angeles)

Offbeat Food lives up to its billing. It is entertaining, imaginatively produced, and written with verve . . . In short, readers will find Ridenour’s account a lively introduction to food curiosities at home and abroad, much of it supported by scholarship in food history.”

If you’re wild about food, and we are, you’ll love this culinary adventure. Alan Ridenour takes us through history and around the world learning delicious tidbits that surprise and tantalize.”
—Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Chefs, Restaurateurs & Cookbook Author