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The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Useable Trim, Scraps, and Bones    by Anthony Bourdain Amazon.com order for
Nasty Bits
by Anthony Bourdain
Order:  USA  Can
Bloomsbury, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover
* * *   Reviewed by Lisa Respers France

Only famed chef, world traveler and novelist Anthony Bourdain could open a book with a preface about hunting and eating a seal and not have readers (other than vegetarians and those good folks from PETA) running scurrying to pay tribute to the porcelain god.

The Nasty Bits is a collection of essays in which Bourdain does what he is best at serves as a tour guide of both local fare in exotic locales, and inside the annals of the culinary world. Those familiar with his television travel program will recognize some familiar countries and scenes. It's a rare form of journalism enhanced by Bourdain's experience (a career documented in his groundbreaking Kitchen Confidential which led to his position as the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles), his fearlessness and his love of food. There is literally nothing this man won't try and the reader's taste buds get to live vicariously through his, in those pieces in which he shares the delights of such fare as the aforementioned seal and stingray.

Along the way, Bourdain introduces his readers to some of the colorful characters he has met, and shares his thoughts on everything from the phenomenon of the 'celebrity chef' to the warning signs of a 'Restaurant Hell.' Bourdain has a well earned reputation as an epicurean bad boy and a terrific, gritty writer, which this book furthers cements.

Divided into sections, Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Umami, and A Taste of Fiction, The Nasty Bits is actually quite delicious reading for those adventurous enough to stomach it.

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