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Books: Central Asian travelogue courts foodies and adventurers

Despite its title, 'Red Sands' is less about deserts than desserts

"Red Sands," Caroline Eden's travelogue-cum-cookbook focused on Central Asia, is elevated by her passion for her subject, a strong reportorial eye and arresting photography. (Nikkei montage; source photos courtesy of Quadrille Publishing) 

EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Travel experiences and food discoveries always go hand in hand, yet books that describe both remain an undefined genre. For booksellers and readers alike, even the best efforts sometimes seem uncategorizable and, in some ill-defined way, unsatisfying.

Perhaps the problem is a practical one. Do we really want to get up from dreamy armchair imaginings of foreign places to head into the kitchen and start rummaging for foreign ingredients? Can a taste for adventure and ethnic eats really be regularly combined?

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