The Tummy Trilogy

Calvin Trillin

Read June 2003

A collection of travel writing principally from the 1970s.  Trillin passes on the overblown and imported for the humble in American cuisine, visiting and revisiting the bess eatin' each part of the country has to offer.  (His eye, whose optical nerve appears to be connected directly to his gastrointestinal tract, remains sharp abroad: he writes about finding one of the two restaurants in Nauru, which country, he presciently observes, is more valuable as a mineral than as an island.)  Of course, most of this food would rapidly clog your arteries, spike your cholesterol, and so forth, and I believe no single dish he mentions in the book (other than the odd slaw or potato salad, and even there I have my doubts) can be regarded vegetarian.  Trillin revels in knocking down the pretentions of Chambers of Commerce, tells some fine stories, and uncovers many a small-town classic, perhaps none more memorable than Suds Kroge and Dregs Donnigan's guide to the 132 bars in Reading, PA.

(Thanks for the book, Colin!)