Anthony expounds on Antarctic cuisine

Feb 22, 2013
Jason Anthony

Belfast — Travel writer Jason Anthony will talk about his adventures in the Antarctic (and the local cuisine) as part of Left Bank Books' Winter Lyceum series Sunday, March 3, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the downtown bookshop, 109 Church St. The program is free and the public is warmly invited.

Anthony's talk will be based on his prize-winning new book “Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day, and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine,” a narrative and culinary history of Antarctica from the early age of exploration up through the present. As Anthony readily admits, Antarctica is not famous for its cuisine; however, it is famous for stories of heroic expeditions in which hunger, he said, was the "one spice every man carried." In the early years of exploration, cooks improvised under inconceivable hardships, castaways ate seal blubber and men stretched their rations to the breaking point while dreaming about feasts back home. Today, scientists at the international research stations still wait at the far end of the planet's longest supply chain for meals better known for sustenance than variety.

A veteran of eight seasons in the U.S. Antarctic Program, Anthony offers a fascinating taste of this Last Place on Earth from the historic hoosh — a porridge of meat, fat and melted snow; through the scurvy-plagued expeditions of Shackleton and Scott; to his own plans for provisioning a two-man camp in the Transantarctic Mountains with 300 meals plus snacks. An accomplished journalist, Anthony has been writing about the Antarctic for years, with work appearing in such publications as Orion, VQR,, “Best American Essays 2006” and “Best American Travel Writing 2007.” Hoosh, recently published by the University of Nebraska as part of its At Table series, was short-listed for a 2012 Andre Simon Food and Drink Book Award and celebrated as "unexpectedly delicious" — despite the recipes.

The talk is the second in the Winter Lyceum series; the third program is scheduled for Sunday, March 17, with novelist Peter Behrens, author of “The Law of Dreams” and “The O'Briens,” telling Stories of Ireland and America. All of the programs are free, but seating is limited and winter weather or unexpected illness sometimes require a change to the schedule. To reserve a seat for Sunday's program, a signed copy of “Hoosh” or for more information about the balance of the Lyceum schedule, call Left Bank Books at 338-9009. The shop is open daily.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or

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