Audio Memoirs | Feasting & Foraging

Two memoirs offer reflections on travel, food, locale, and the natural world.

Moscow, David & Jon Moscow. From Scratch: Adventures in Harvesting, Hunting, Fishing, and Foraging on a Fragile Planet. Highbridge Audio. Jan. 2023. 8:43 hrs. ISBN 9781696610759. $14.95. TRAV

Actor/author Jon and his son, narrator David Moscow, star of the cable television show From Scratch, synthesize four years of traveling around the world in search of the people, places, plants, and animals that represent complex food systems. The Moscows thoughtfully discuss how they developed the idea for a documentary series that traces ingredient sources as an outgrowth of their environmental efforts and their discomfort at being disconnected from the origins of their food. What could be unbearably preachy is made compelling and entertaining by the chatty style and obvious curiosity about every experience. Each chapter begins with a chef and a meal, then examines the meal’s cultural and historical background before setting off to source ingredients and recreate that meal. Listeners are pulled along as the Moscows dive for oysters in Croatia, hunt boar in Texas, and search for dune spinach in South Africa. The narration’s sense of how to mix the various elements of food narrative, travelogue, and environmental study keeps the pace brisk but not frantic. The enjoyable final chapter includes an assortment of the Moscows’ favorite recipes from their travels. VERDICT Recommended for fans of Anthony Bourdain’s books and international travel shows.—Natalie Marshall

Regan, Iliana. Fieldwork: A Forager’s Memoir. Blackstone Audio. Jan. 2023. 9:45 hrs. ISBN 9798212275460. $19.95. MEMOIR

Regan’s (Burn the Place) second memoir focuses on her relationship with the natural world. Hailing from a long line of foragers, she shares stories of her childhood homesteading on a farm in rural Indiana. She juxtaposes memories of her family with the current phase of her career, having left her Michelin-starred restaurant behind for the remote forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There, she and her wife opened the Milkweed Inn, a bed-and-breakfast in the Hiawatha National Forest. Regan charts the B&B’s operating challenges with the onset of COVID and her own relapse into addiction. In this self-narrated audio memoir, Regan’s depictions of nature are evocative. Her detailed descriptions of the land, the food she harvests, and the meals she creates illustrate her passion for the land. She also frankly discusses her complicated relationship with gender and sexuality, from wanting a male body as a child to her difficulties conceiving as an adult. VERDICT This memoir detailing Regan’s relationship with her body, her family, and the world around her resonates with sincerity and passion.—Angel Caranna

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