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Taking Off

Escaping from a sudden afternoon downpour this week, I found the SAS World-Wide Restaurant Cookbook at the Atlantic Book Shop.  Published in 1960 and sponsored by Scandinavian Airline Systems, journalist Charlotte Adams visited 36 countries in search of the best restaurants and their favorite recipes.  I haven’t had a chance to try any of the recipes just yet, but I’m already in love with her descriptions where she’s quick to point out where to go continental and where to go native.  Speaking of  the proprietor of Los Caracoles in Barcelona, she describes a “hugely tall man of enormous girth with one of the most fascinating hair arrangments you ever saw and the manner of a magnificent ham actor.”  Visiting Cabeca Chata in Rio de Janeiro, she writes, “hammocks hang from the ceiling.  (This is typical of the hinterland.  You never sleep in beds.  In a hotel you must get a great room with hooks on the walls and you bring your own hammock.)  Quite marvelous monkeys made of rope also hang from the ceiling.”  El Galeón in Montevideo has a gold metal bar which should be garish but isn’t and she tries sea urchin for the first time in Chile’s El Parrón.  I never know what I’m going to find when I go into a used book store.  With such an unpromising title. I almost overlooked this one that so completely takes you to a time people dressed up to fly.

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