Lonely Planet's "Food Lover's Guide to the World" ($39.99) is not the sort of book one tosses in a carry-on or backpack along with a toothbrush and passport. It measures roughly 9 by 11 inches and weighs more than 3 pounds.
Yet it's a must-have for anyone who pesters locals for restaurant ideas, pokes around food markets or buys dumpling ladles as souvenirs. A terrific resource before you travel, it also has enough recipes — from Spain's simple egg-potato tortilla to India's complex Hyderabadi biryani and
Its food credentials are golden:
"The book presents food as travel experiences and is for anyone who loves either traveling or great food experiences," Handicott emailed.
Cooking classes. Food or wine tours. Sections dubbed "Learnings" suggest truffle hunts in
Food-related festivals, markets and shout-outs to restaurants are included. So is an array of valuable cultural tips, from how to order noodles to why you shouldn't stick chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice.
Among the best parts are pages devoted to topics such as cheese, breakfast and coffee that take an understanding of the subject beyond a Facebook photo and "it tastes good." The cheese section, for example, explains why France's Muenster is related to England's Stinking Bishop and