Skip to main content

Distributed for Reaktion Books

The Food Adventurers

How Around-the-World Travel Changed the Way We Eat

A delectable gastronomic expedition into the linked histories of global travel and global cuisine.
From mangosteen fruit discovered in a colonial Indonesian marketplace to caviar served on the high seas in a cruise liner’s luxurious dining saloon, The Food Adventurers narrates the history of eating on the most coveted of tourist journeys: the around-the-world adventure. The book looks at what tourists ate on these adventures, as well as what they avoided, and what kinds of meals they described in diaries, photographs, and postcards. Daniel E. Bender shows how circumglobal travel shaped popular fascination with world cuisines while leading readers on a culinary tour from Tahitian roast pig in the 1840s, to the dining saloon of the luxury Cunard steamer Franconia in the 1920s, to InterContinental and Hilton hotel restaurants in the 1960s and ’70s.

352 pages | 46 halftones | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

Food and Gastronomy

History: Discoveries and Exploration

Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books


“Finally, someone has written a book about the hypocrisy (or maybe just ‘ambiguity’) of gastro-tourism and how it has been marketed. Bender traces the nearly two-hundred-year history of the tug-of-war between tourists’ professed desire for authenticity and their need for comfort and familiarity.”

Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale University, and author of "American Cuisine"

Table of Contents

Introduction: Eating Apart

Part I: From Sail to Steam, 1840–1900
Chapter 1: Ida Pfeiffer
Chapter 2: Comte de Beauvoir

Part II: The Golden Age of Steam, 1900–1945

Itinerary: SS Cleveland
Chapter 3: Water
Chapter 4: Harry Franck
Chapter 5: Durian
Chapter 6: Edith James
Chapter 7: Mangosteen
Chapter 8: Juanita Harrison
Chapter 9: The Rice Table

Part III: Aeroplanes and the Age of Mass Tourism, 1945–75

Itinerary: Pan Am
Chapter 10: Myra Waldo
Chapter 11: InterContinental
Chapter 12: Hilton and Trader Vic

Further Reading
Photo Acknowledgements

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press