No Reservations

Image: Travel Channel

Dear faithful readers,

life got a bit busy of late. When you add traveling into the mix needless to say I got a bit behind on my TV watching. The only thing I have watched with any bit of consistency (apart from the news) is No Reservations.

Obviously I am horribly behind – No Reservations in now in its 7th season. I have plenty to catch up on but that is actually the plus side, I won’t run out of episodes to watch any time soon.

Have you watched No Reservations?

I will get the negatives out of the way – someone should invent a drinking game – every time Bourdain says one of the following you do a shot:

  • Tasty
  • Delicious
  • Nice
  • Man
  • Let’s eat
  • Indigenous

You’d be drunk by the end of first 15 minutes. The show itself I don’t find repetitive, his adjectives on the other hand… well…

The second thing is he can be a bit annoying with his oooh-I’m-so-snarky shtick. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching a few shows in the row or something but yes that is a bit annoying.

On the plus side these are my only complaints. Well that and the fact the show is making me permanently hungry but that is no reason to complain. For some reason I’m craving that Chilean hotdog with lashings of guacamole and pickled veggies. Or that Vietnamese noodle soup. Or all those lovely Asian condiments. Or those Turkish kebabs. See? Told you, permanently hungry.

What is that I love about the show? Besides the glorious food? And that he doesn’t shout like Ramsay?

I think Bourdain and his crew are doing a wonderful job in highlighting the differences between the cultures. See I don’t find blood sausages that offensive (I’ve even eaten a few). Or fish with their heads on – perfectly normal. Or the fact someone would gnaw on cow’s head (my late grandma loved eating lamb’s head, it was considered a treat and a delicacy). So here I was thinking to myself – I don’t see what is so shocking about that.

But then I saw him eating ant larvae and raw seal’s eye and I’ll admit my first thought was EWWW! But is it ew really? It is not ew to people who (unlike myself) grew up with eating seal or ant larvae. To them me gnawing on a suckling pig (LOVE that crackling skin!) would be considered offensive. Or just plain ew.

What I love the most though is that no matter where he goes or who he visits – be it a family in Istanbul, a farmer working the land in Amazonia or a dude with a little shop on the wrong side of the island – people genuinely want him to eat well and feel at home. Silly as it may seem – that universal hospitality, to extend the hand of friendship and do it with food no matter how much or how little we might have, makes me a bit more optimistic about the human race.

One thing though – I hope someone is monitoring his cholesterol levels, dude really eats a lot of pork.

If you are like me and horribly behind there is plenty to go through – sevens seasons of the show, a few books and then there is the blog of course.