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Antarctica the last place on Earth is not famous for its cuisine. Yet it is famous for stories of heroic expeditions in which hunger was the one spice everyone carried. At the dawn of Antarctic cuisine cooks improvised under inconceivable hardships castaways ate seal blubber and penguin breasts while fantasizing about illustrious feasts and men seeking the South Pole stretched their rations to the breaking point. Today Antarcticaa's kitchens still wait for provisions at the far end of the planeta's longest supply chain. Scientific research stations serve up cafeteria fare that often offers more sustenance than style. Jason C. Anthony a veteran of eight seasons in the U.S. Antarctic Program offers a rare workaday look at the importance of food in Antarctic history and culture.

Anthonya's tour of Antarctic cuisine takes us from hoosh (a porridge of meat fat and melted snow often thickened with crushed biscuit) and the scurvy-ridden expeditions of Shackleton and Scott through the twentieth century to his own pre-planned three hundred meals (plus snacks) for a two-person camp in the Transantarctic Mountains. The stories in Hoosh are linked by the ingenuity good humour and indifference to gruel that make Anthonya's tale as entertaining as it is enlightening.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: A Recipe for SomethingChapter 1. All Thinking and Talking of FoodChapter 2. The Secret Society of Unconventional CooksChapter 3. Slaughter and ScurvyChapter 4. Meat and Melted SnowChapter 5. How to Keep a Fat Explorer in Prime ConditionChapter 6. Into the Deep FreezeChapter 7. Prisoner-of-War SyndromeChapter 8. The Syrup of American ComfortChapter 9. A Cookie and a StoryChapter 10. Sleeping with VegetablesChapter 11. A Tale of Two StationsEpilogue: Not Under These ConditionsAcknowledgmentsAppendix 1: Selected Recipes from Gerald Cutland's Fit for a FIDAppendix 2: Hoosh Timeline NotesSelected Bibliography

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Offers a rare workaday look at the importance of food in Antarctic history and culture

About the Author

Jason C. Anthony's essays have appeared in Orion, VQR, Alimentum, the Missouri Review, and in the Best American Travel Writing 2007.


"Anthony enlivens historical facts with a knack for choice anecdotes; one man's minted peas created with toothpaste stand out as much as unexpectedly hotel-worthy midwinter celebrations. In later, thought-provoking chapters, the author considers the environmental toll created by food waste and inefficient management. Anthony concludes with his own experience as support staff. A singular, engrossing take on a region that until now has been mostly documented from a scientific angle or romanticized by adventurers." Kirkus Reviews, September 15th 2012 "Anthony recounts many stories of early pioneers' attempts to survive the harsh climate by dining on seal meat. One hardy troop even played music to console grieving penguins, whose eggs they had stolen. A complete culinary collection that aims to represent all seven continents will need this book on its shelves, but don't expect a lot of call for its recipes." - Mark Knoblauch, Booklist, October 2012 "Some years ago a friend who worked on a nature program told me a tale of desperate penguin-killing (concluding with an ice pick) that left me with a fascination of how to feed yourself in the Antarctic. Jason Anthony's book has rekindled my appetite for Antarctic gastronomic thoughts." - Fergus Henderson, chef and co-owner of St. John Restaurant (London) and author of The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating "Historical writing, well presented, is supposed to be delicious, but in this brilliant, insightful book you will find many essential nutrients that tend to be missing from standard treatments of Antarctic exploration. This is a delightfully balanced reflection on human involvement in the Last Place on Earth, from earliest times to the modern day, presented with much gusto and the added sauce of firsthand experience." - Ross MacPhee, curator of the American Museum of Natural History and author of Race to The End: Amundsen, Scott, and the Attainment of the South Pole "Anthony is an exemplary translator, imparting a collection of otherworldly experiences to the rest of us in precise and deft, but no less astonishing language and narrative technique. The concluding recipes, like so much of the book, carefully fuse the hilarious and the harrowing." - Matthew Frank, author of Barolo "Anthony's central insight is that an expedition, like an army, marches on its stomach, allowing him to approach a somewhat timeworn subject in a fresh way. Hoosh is not a cookbook, though it does have recipes (Savory Seal Brains on Toast). It's not a history, though Anthony retells with gusto the never-stale stories of Shackleton, Amundsen, Scott, Byrd and all the other crazies who pursued knowledge to the last place in the world at the price of sanity, health and life itself. And Hoosh is certainly not another hymn to the heroic age... For one thing, Anthony brings us up to the present, with visions of the bustling science stations established along the continent's coasts and at the pole itself. Here admirable feats of cooperation among nations are topped only by the awe-inspiring logistics required to satisfy the culinary quirks of all nations, not to mention their temperamental cooks... What ultimately ensures this unlikely book's appeal to a larger audience than armchair Antarctophiles and demented foodies is that Anthony is a fine, visceral writer and a witty observer. He paints his cast of questers with a Monty-Pythonesque brush, but balances the telling with a refusal to sneer or giggle. He demonstrates genuine respect, compassion and a kind of hopeless love for his quixotic subjects and their grandiose, miserable hungers." - Rebecca Sinkler, New York Times, Decemeber 2012 "One of the most enthralling studies of gastronomy ever published." - The Independent

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