You cannot help but be drawn to “Gastro Obscura,” a compendium of culinary oddities. Organized geographically, it offers thumbnails of the uncommon food experiences that exist across the globe, including in all 50 states. There is the remote eel smokehouse in Hancock, N.Y., east of Binghamton, and the list of Chinese restaurants in the most far-flung locations on the globe, like Tang’s on the island of Tromsoya north of the Arctic Circle. There are cod tongues in Eastern Canada; pickles brined in Kool-Aid, a specialty in the Mississippi Delta; and the cafeteria on the grounds of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, open to tourists who must pass through a radiation detector. The book, which provides travel information, also has lists like traditional soda jerk terms and Japan’s rarest fruits.
“Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide” by Dylan Thuras and Cecily Wong (Workman Publishing, $42.50).