They Eat That?
A Cultural Encyclopedia of Weird and Exotic Food from around the World
by Jonathan Deutsch, Editor and Natalya Murakhver, Contributing Editor
January 2012, 234pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38058-7
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38059-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

To most Americans, the idea of sitting down to a plate of worms or insect larvae is fairly revolting, yet both are very high in protein and routinely consumed in some nations. Besides, who are we to scoff when the cheese we love is really rotten milk and our rich, sweet honey is actually bee vomit?

This thoroughly engaging encyclopedia considers the rich diversity of unfamiliar foods eaten around the world.

The title They Eat That?: A Cultural Encyclopedia of Weird and Exotic Food from around the World says it all. This fun encyclopedia, organized A–Z, describes and offers cultural context for foodstuffs people eat today that might be described as “weird”—at least to the American palate. Entries also include American regional standards, such as scrapple and chitterlings, that other regions might find distasteful, as well as a few mainstream American foods, like honey, that are equally odd when one considers their derivation.

A long narrative entry on insects, for example, discusses the fact that insects are enjoyed as a regular part of the diet in some Asian, South and Central American, and African countries. It then looks at the kinds of insects eaten, where and how they are eaten, cultural uses, nutrition, and preparation. Each of the encyclopedia’s 100 entries includes a representative recipe or, for a food already prepared like maggoty cheese, describes how it is eaten. Each entry ends with suggested readings.


  • Approximately 100 entries
  • A representative recipe for each entry
  • Photographs and drawings
  • Suggested readings for each entry
  • Alphabetical and geographical lists of entries
  • A selected bibliography
Jonathan Deutsch, PhD, is associate professor of culinary arts at Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, NY, and assistant professor of public health at The City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, NY. He earned his doctorate in food studies at New York University and is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Natalya Murakhver holds a master's degree in food studies from New York University and has written about food for several magazines.


"They Eat That? is informative, fascinating and an accessible reference tool, and great fun to browse. And even if readers cannot be tempted to try any of the outlandish hors d’oeuvres, this entertaining encyclopedia is guaranteed to expand their knowledge of world cultures and food fads!"—Reference Reviews, March 1, 2013

"This is a very interesting reference book. . . . Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers."—Choice, July 1, 2012

"This book will appeal to curious connoisseurs and may also appeal to reference browsers looking for something different and to the occasional person looking for the gross-out factor. It is also recommended for adventurous chefs, both professional and amateur."—Library Journal, June 15, 2012

"They Eat That? is an introduction to cuisines and dishes that readers might encounter as they travel around the world or into the side streets of the cities where they live. . . . Recommended for most libraries with an interest in the unusual."—Booklist, May 1, 2012
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