I started reading "Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods" by Gary Paul Nabhan this afternoon. Just reading the preface and introduction to this handy-sized book has me eagerly awaiting the rest of his story!
Nabhan is of Lebanese ancestry and he tells of traveling from his home in southern Arizona to Lebanon to visit with aunts and uncles and assorted relatives. Along the way he finds himself at an exclusive Middle Eastern casino, where he realizes the exotic foods - Caspian Sea caviar and the like - and even the building materials come from outside of the country. Such sharp contrast to the meal with which his family welcomes him to Lebanon: foods produced or grown, and certainly prepared, locally. That contrast sticks with him through his first night in that faraway land, and starts him thinking of what it means, what it takes, to bring the food wealth of other nations to one's table.
Book's off to a lovely start - I think I'll enjoy the rest of the trip into Nabhan's world.