YUCK! The Things People Eat - Book Review
By Neil Setchfield
My three-year-old has started saying, "Don't yuck my yum," which roughly translates into "I'll
enjoy strawberry yogurt on my pasta even more if you don't denigrate the experience." In his
new book YUCK! The Things People Eat, photographer Neil Setchfield takes a more global
approach to the topic, exploring through words and in-your-face snapshots dishes that in some
cultures are considered delicacies that others may find objectionable.
Some of the items are well-known to Westerners, like abalone, tongue, tripe (Setchfield's
favorite meal as a child), rabbit, chitterlings, frogs' legs, haggis and the county fair staple deep-fried Mars bar. Others appear to be off the menu of reality television shows with "gross-out"
competitions, including crickets, cicadas on a stick, goat testicles and Korean penis fish. Each
menu item from the Welshman's travels is profiled by its location, a short page of informative,
entertaining copy, an often-disturbing color photograph and occasional serving suggestions. For
tarantulas, which inspired Setchfield's project, he warns after stir-frying that "the belly may burst
open at first bite, covering one's hand and face with black, pungent goo." That's something you
rarely see in a serving suggestion!
Setchfield deserves kudos not only for his photos and prose, but for actually eating the contents
of his graphic global gross gastronomy guide. Much of his imagery is so stomach-turning that the
book could be a worthwhile gift for a friend who wants to start a diet.
Reviewed by Jeff Hoyt