Fork on the Road

400 Cities/One Stomach


Book Description

A seasoned comedian’s love letter to America’s food curiosities—
the regional cuisines, the culinary oddities, the weird and the wonderful


“Mark DeCarlo is a [modern-day] Groucho Marx.” —PEOPLE


Whether it be fish ice cream, kudzu tempura, or even sausage, Mark DeCarlo always wonders, “Who the hell thought to eat this stuff the first time?” We find out in this hilarious celebration of the genesis of America’s most creative and idiosyncratic food traditions, and the people who keep these food traditions alive.


Join the master comedian on his journey across the United States to visit these people and their foods in their natural habitats—places like the French Quarter of New Orleans, lush Maui resorts, and the Annual Road Kill Cook-off Festival in West Virginia. From the obvious and beloved (Buffalo wings, Boston clam chowder, hush puppies, and strawberry shortcake) to the bizarre and, well, beloved by some (Rocky Mountain oysters, fried rattlesnake, scrapple, and deep fried Twinkies), DeCarlo takes readers on a rollicking tour of the people and places behind America’s greatest food inventions.


Each chapter features the story behind a particular food (moosehead soup, anyone?) and the people who love it. Signature recipes, snapshot photos from the road, along with “Road Rules” on how to discover the real America all spice up the travelogue. It's a love letter to America’s culinary curiosities, providing armchair travelers with a tour of the wackiest and kitschiest food festivals, delicacies, and people this country has to offer.  



Consider the oyster. Unopened, dirty, and habitually covered with muddy, green crap. If you didn’t know that it was hollow and contained a tasty glob of salty protein, would you ever guess that this rock was edible?


Well . . . somebody did. Deep in the recesses of time, some caveman or beach-dwelling ape not only discovered that oysters aren’t rocks . . . but that they’re tasty—as long as you’ve got Tabasco and a date for the night. But for every ‘oyster,’ success story, there are thousands of casualties that will forever remain unknown. History is written by the survivors.


A Fork on the Road celebrates those survivors and their progeny: It’s about the kinds of people who will spend 30% of their yearly salary building a BBQ Trailer with a homemade logo painted in flames on the side just to win a $50 contest 500 miles from home. It’s about the third generation pie maker who is as dull as a hammer until the conversation comes around to “cracker” versus “pastry” shells. It’s about the millions of people around the country who call themselves ‘foodies’—as if the rest of us exist simply on air and water. . . .

About Decarlo, Mark

Mark DeCarlo is an actor, comedian, tv show and radio host, and voiceover artist. He is also known as the voice of Hugh Neutron (Jimmy's dad) on Nickelodeon's hit series, JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS. Mark also has regular guest spots on a variety of radio stations across the country--most notably in his hometown of Chicago on WGN Radio every Friday afternoon with comedic food/travel segments.
He hosted four seasons of the popular TV show TASTE OF AMERICA (2005-2008), as well as THE X SHOW, SUNDAY DINNER, and the FOX dating show, STUDS. His live show with chef Emeril Lagasse is currently running in Atlantic City, with plans to move it to Casear's Palace, Las Vegas, in Spring 2010. As an actor, he's appeared on shows such as SEINFELD and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, and starred in films such as MOBSTERS AND MORMONS. He currently has several projects in development, include a new series for the TRAVEL CHANNEL as well as a series of specials for the network. He also guest-hosts a travel radio show every Friday on Chicago's Steve Cochran Show on WGN Chicago (
More information on Mark and his work can be found at his website,