Munching fishbrain bread from Finland, chewing bull's testicles in Buenos Aires -- touring with the rock band Franz Ferdinand can be a real culinary adventure. But no taste bud challenge is too great
Munching fishbrain bread from Finland, chewing bull's testicles in Buenos Aires -- touring with the rock band Franz Ferdinand can be a real culinary adventure.
But no taste bud challenge is too great for lead singer Alex Kapranos, who takes fans on a tour of the world's most surreal eateries in a new offbeat restaurant guide, "Sound Bites," which is adapted from a newspaper column he wrote on the road.
Gently mocking the rock'n'roll lifestyle of overblown excess, he and the Scottish group traveled two-and-a-half times around the world in the last couple of years eating in disheveled dumps one day and five-star opulence the next.
"Sometimes I eat appallingly. Sometimes I eat phenomenally," he writes of the surreal meals he devours. Gizzard salad in Paris, potentially fatal blowfish in Osaka -- nothing is beyond Kapranos, who worked as a chef, wine-waiter, kitchen porter and delivery driver before hitting the jackpot as a rock singer.
"I never eat predictably," he proudly boasts, even though his allergy to peanuts has taught him to ask about them in a whole host of languages. "I've chipped my molars on tiny pearls from mussels in Brussels," he writes. "Yes, food is still an adventure," said the Glasgow-based singer.
Sometimes, the culinary experience is banal beyond belief: "I shove crisps, aging sandwiches and cold pizza into my gob between soundchecks, gigs and sitting on a bus drunk." At other times it is sublime, as at Arola's Kitchen in Madrid: "As a spoonful of chestnut soup with bacon ice cream passes my lips, I want to laugh because I can't believe what's happening in my mouth."
For Kapranos, half the fun is people-watching: "If you stare at someone in Glasgow, it's an invitation for a fight. If you stare at someone in Paris, it's because you want to look at them."
COPYRIGHT: (c) Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.