Spain...A Culinary Road Trip
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Spain...A Culinary Road Trip

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  257 ratings  ·  50 reviews
From Mario Batali, superstar chef and author of Molto Italiano and Italian Grill, comes an eating tour throughout Spain with his friend Gwyneth Paltrow.

Spain...A Culinary Road Trip is the companion book to the prime-time public television series Spain...On The Road Again. The premise is simple: Mario Batali and Mark Bittman are single-minded, food-obsessed friends who are...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 21st 2008 by Ecco
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Jennifer
This book made me hungry! I've never craved some of these ingredients, but most of these recipes just made my mouth water (although not the organ meat ones...yuck). I have always had this horrible aversion to Spain - I think acquired in my 5 years of high school Spanish. This book did a brilliant job of showing beautiful sights and providing some background story on the different regions of Spain...I think I'm ready to go now!
Meagan Campbell
In college, I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. It has always been my dream to travel there. It is a gorgeous country with amazing food and wine! The recipes in this book certainly take me back. Highly recommend it.
Dorie
I can't afford the plane tickets, so I decided that this book would have to serve as my virtual trip to Spain.

Overall, the book was entertaining, though I think it works better as a coffee table book to browse through gradually than as a cover-to-cover read.

As another reader mentioned, the focus is not completely on food, despite the fact that Mario Batali is the author. The recipes and restaurant descriptions are mixed in with snippets on architecture, wine, and Spanish history. There is also...more
Catherine Woodman
I learned alot from the review by Ed Uyeshima and wish that I had read it before I read the book--nicely done! ANd I wish I was slow cooking the chicken that I have for dinner tonight in the slow-roasted recipe manner on p 245...tho' I think high heat roasting with the 40 cloves of garlic will also be good, this sounds less high key and I am home all day...so, not knowing that this was a book from a PBS series which travels, the thing I found most irritating about this cookbook was the chattines...more
Rachel C.
I've only been to Barcelona in Spain, and was very disappointed by the food I ate there. This book made me want to book a trip to Spain immediately to remedy that!

I'm a big fan of both Batali and Paltrow (even though she's become a bit pretentious in recent years) and enjoyed their anecdotes and snippets of conversation. All in all, though, this book does not have a lot of what I would consider to be valuable content.

Please note that this book is not a cookbook. Firstly, there aren't a whole lot...more
Santos
I really enjoyed flipping through this book. Part vacation story, part cookbook full of bright recipes, this was fun to read. Mario Batali mixed this book up with great photography, some history, naturally great recipes, and a light sense of humor. I really enjoyed this and could tell this was a personal book to Mario Batali as he talks about the great adventures he goes on with three good friends of his while they taste the cuisine around European countries. I want to go to Spain. Even more now...more
Mauricio
Expected more, to much jet set and to little Spanish cooking.
Dustin
This book makes a lot more sense if you've seen the PBS special to go along with it, you actually understand the little anecdotes about their trip. As for being a true cookbook, it isn't. Not unless you can get somewhat exotic ingredients flow into the middle of the U.S. overnight.
That in itself is really sad, because the pictures of the adventures as well as the dishes that are being made look awesome. I guess this will have to be the next best thing to roaming through the hills of Catalonia my...more
Anna
I had wanted to watch the show but had hoped that the cookbook could instead give me some recipes to re-create at home. I still haven't watched the series, but the book is good armchair traveling and makes me want to visit Spain. However, Batali shouldn't have bothered including recipes as the tastes just won't be the same I believe outside of Spain because the ingredients are just too unobtainable. I'll have to go to Spain to taste the Jamon or the fried sardines freshly caught.
Connie Crosby
Part travelogue, part cookbook, and part TV show guide, this book is entertaining and informative even if you haven't seen the associated TV show (as I haven't). Beautiful photos of food, places and people in Spain as well as the celebrity hosts. I just arrived back from my own tour of Spain, and enjoyed all of these traditional recipes, especially since they have adapted some of the ingredients for the North American market. Can't wait to track down the show episodes!
Harpercollins Canada
Summer Passport stop #5: SPAIN!

When you think of Spain does your tummy start rumbling? Well I know mine does! This wonderful book with quench your culinary and cultural appetite! Spain: A Culinary Road Trip, follows foodies Mario Batali and Mark Bittman, as well as actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Claudia Bassols as they travel through Spain looking for the best of true Spanish regional cuisine, art, history, and culture.
Full of gorgeous pictures and mouth-watering recipes.
Karen Chow
Saw this mini-series on PBS. While preparing for our trip to Spain, I thought it would be nice to read this for restaurant recommendations and places to see. The book was nice and fun to read, but it was very steeped in priviledge (most of the restaurant recs are for expensive/hard to get a reservation places) and definitely a documentary of the show. So, while I was entertained, I didn't really learn very much, except Spanish food names.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
If someone called me on this, I’d have to delete this from my list of books read in 2009; I really didn’t read it so much as browsed it. Mario is apparently some sort of famous chef (is he on tv, perhaps?) and Paltrow is along for the ride as photo candy. And there are lots of photos. And lots of recipes.

A quick little trip to Spain this summer, with lots of great food. Free, via the public library.

Joyce
This is a companion book to the PBS Series and it's pretty darn good. Just flipping though the beautiful pages will have your mouth watering and have you yearning to visit Spain. Spanish food is wonderful and this book introduces the reader to the best Spain has to offer. However, I must confess I haven't yet tried any of the recipes. I will and will update this review with results.
Stuart
Promotes Spanish tourism as much as cooking... cross reference to Jose Andres show/ book: Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen. Cut from similar cloth. Part travelog, part boondoggle, part excuse to hang in Spain, small part food. Both book and PBS series tease you visually... wish they'd spent more time exploring and less time chatting.
Donald
I purchased the DVDs of the series along with the book. While I loved the DVDs, the book feels like a light rehash and afterthought. A few recipes, but no real meaningful content not included in the videos. If you choose between the DVDs and book, definitely get the DVDs. I'd spend the book money on a quality Spanish cookbook instead of here.
Chris
Beautiful pics of food, people, and places. Not a stand-alone book but a complement to the TV series. Going to buy this one. Thoroughly enjoyed the DVD of the series. Lots more places to add to my list for trip of a lifetime to Spain. Was there over 30 years ago, twice; once with Franco and once after his death.
Chad Fairey
Incredible. Love Batali, love Spanish cuisine -- and this reads like a cross between a cookbook, travel diary and culinary anthropology. Fantastic writing, fantastic food, gorgeous photos. Read it cover to cover like a novel. Can't wait to get to Spain and get my hands dirty in the regional markets.
Gwen
Reading Spain...A Culinary Road Trip made me feel like I went to Spain. The pictures were beautiful. The recipes something I could do at home. The stories and anecdotes were fun and at times informative. Now, if only if there was a button I could push to make the food appear on my plate.
Andy
Blah. The foods of Spain are wonderful & varied. Enjoy the TV or video version. The book is overpriced & too 'hip' for itself. If you really want to read about Spanish food & wine, get the Culineria edition about Spain. THAT is excellent, more interesting, and way more authentic.
Laura
I've been really loving the show, and this was a fantastic supplement. Mark Bittman has a great passage where he talks about the 4 stages of becoming a cook - the passage alone makes the book worth reading. The recipes all sound amazing, but I'm intimidated as hell to try them!
Jack
More of a book to look at then to read. It provides some good information about Spanish culture, but doesn't really make it memorable. The recipes are too fancy and not suitable for the home cook. On a different note, the book is very well laid out and easy to read.
Isabel
This is definitely more of a coffee-table book than a book of recipes or a book about Spain.

I thought it would offer some behind-the-scenes bits not seen in the PBS show "Spain... On the Road Again" however, pretty much everything in the book is in the television show.
Daniel
I thought the format was great. However, I think the photography could have used more editing: too much yellow color cast and people looking down in the photos. I thought the layout was great and the banter between the authors was my favorite part of the book.
Megan
not as many recipes as i thought there would be but i enjoyed flipping through the chapters on the various cities and remembering my time in espana...may decide to purchase this one and try a few of the recipes to see if i can recreate some of my favorite dishes...
Heather
This is a coffee table book. If you are familiar with the Batali/Bittman series on PBS, you'll appreciate it because it itemizes the restaurants they went to and a few of their favorite recipes. It's not especially informative, just a Cliff Notes of the tv series.
Carmen
I don't usually read cookbooks page by page, but this is more of a travel/food book. This is a good book for learning the regional variations in Spanish cuisine--not every Spaniard eats paella! If I didn't have the travel bug before, I definitely do now!
Dottie
Jan 18, 2009 Dottie marked it as buy-to-read
I cannot wait to get my hands on this one -- for the photos as much as for the food. Watching the program has been wonderful -- I love what little I've seen firsthand of Spain and want to see more, as many of you already know, so this is right up my alley.
Laura
As a vegetarian, obviously I'm not gaga for barnacles, but it is interesting to discover the traditional foods and wine from each distinct region of Spain. The book makes me want to rent a car and hit the road, stopping in each tiny town.
Mag
Jun 03, 2012 Mag rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: spain, food
I read half of it with real pleasure, but then I just stopped and never felt an urge to go back to it. It became repetitive. I can see how it could be successful as a TV series, but for a book- nah... so, so.
2.5/5
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Mario Batali is known to most people as both the star of the Food Network's Molto Mario and one of the Iron Chefs on Iron Chef America. Winner of numerous awards for his restaurants, Mario himself is the recipient of the 2005 James Beard All-Clad Outstanding Chef Award, the most prestigious cooking honor there is. Mario is also a huge NASCAR fan. Like many guys his age, Mario first discovered the...more
More about Mario Batali...
Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home Mario Batali Simple Italian Food: Recipes from My Two Villages The Babbo Cookbook Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking Italian Grill

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