As I turned the crinkled pages of the June/July issue of Saveur magazine, I regretted ever considering it beach reading. It filled a space in my carry-on bag and traveled all the way from Newark, NJ to Nassau, Bahamas in hopes of being devoured while basking in the sun on a pink, Caribbean beach. Instead, the scorching heat proved too strong for reading.
My trusty Saveur remained barely cracked open, left for another day, as I huddled under the canopy of my chaise lounge and quickly returned to the water to stay cool. Determined, I carried it to the beach again and again. Deflated, I returned to my room rosy cheeked and skin glowing from too much time spent in crystal blue waters and too little time spent reading.
On the last day, when the sun hid behind some welcomed clouds and the skies opened up with the sweet drops of summer rain, it was once again my Saveur who suffered, soaking up wetness instead of sun. I lovingly laid it out to dry on the balcony of our hotel overlooking the coastline. Sticky pages were not going to stop me from reading this issue.
The flight home finally gave me a moment of calm where I could simply sit still without sweltering in the sun and enjoy what vacations are meant to be about—free time for little things like reading a magazine cover to cover because it’s just that good. I finally got to see why this market issue of Saveur is well beyond beach reading. It’s a gem that could have just as easily been printed in hardcover and sold on bookstore shelves for 3 times the price.
Part travel guide, part homage to exotic foods worldwide, it takes you on a journey to faraway places where you’ll discover foods that define a culture and a people. It has recipes, stories, and tips that I would gladly carry with me in pocket guide form while traveling. It did not deserve to be dragged on a sandy beach and rain drenched, it deserved to be read and savored.
Every article is filled with juicy reveries and insights into a country’s cuisine, as seen through the markets that define them. A single story might have graced the pages of any other issue. Instead, an abundance of articles are gathered together in one place, as if seated together at one of the most culturally diverse and exciting dinner parties you’ve ever attended.
Organized in 4 chapters, it’s already set up like a book. It transports readers to Paris, Thailand, Russia, Morocco, Ethiopia, Spain, Mexico, Brazil and much more. There is even an article dedicated to the great markets in the Caribbean that I regrettably missed as I waded in the ocean just steps away from my Saveur and a stone’s throw from the stalls beneath Paradise Island Bridge where you’ll find Potter’s Cay in Nassau, Bahamas. Had I simply flipped through the pages of this robust issue, I would have been able to indulge in lime-and-chili-spiked conch, johnnycakes, and fresh produce like pumpkins, papaya, and cassava.
While I plan on keeping my roughed-up copy just for kicks, it wouldn’t hurt to have a crisp, non-wrinkly version as backup. I recommend you give it a look through. It’s not available on newsstands anymore, but luckily the full issue can be accessed online here. I’m sure you can check out a hard copy at your local library too. But, if you can somehow get your hands on an issue, go for it. It is well worth the 5 bucks. Enjoy.