It might be 2022, and we’re eagerly awaiting cookbooks on of-the-moment topics like a modern take on Southern cooking and easy one-pan meals. But at least some of the tomes we’re hoping for won’t be arriving as scheduled for a reason that sounds like it comes from a Victorian novel: They’ve been lost at sea.
Copies of the forthcoming “Turkey and the Wolf,” named after the lauded New Orleans restaurant by chef and owner Mason Hereford, and “Dinner in One” by popular cookbook author Melissa Clark — both hailed as some of the year’s most anticipated culinary titles — were loaded on shipping containers that sank into the Atlantic during a storm that ensnared a ship carrying goods from Europe to the East Coast.
Hereford posted the news on Wednesday on his Instagram page, noting that he was relieved no one had been injured in the incident and calling it “perhaps the most hilariously 2022 thing to happen yet this year.”
He pointed to news stories about the vessel, which was carrying goods from China along a route from Europe across the Atlantic. The container ship reportedly encountered a storm on Jan. 6 while idling near the Azores island chain, located west of Portugal. A number of containers were damaged and 65 were “lost overboard,” according to the Post and Courier of Charleston, where the ship eventually docked for repairs.
The release date for “Turkey and the Wolf,” written with cookbook author JJ Goode, has been moved from February to June, Hereford wrote. Clark’s book will be out in September, she wrote in an Instagram post. “I like to think that if the books are at the bottom of the ocean, they’re teaching whole schools of fish some very tasty recipes,” wrote Clark, who also writes about food for The New York Times. “Poseidon and his nereids are dining in style.”
Hereford’s publisher, Ten Speed Press, and Clark’s, Clarkson-Potter, are both owned by Penguin Random House, and a company representative declined to comment.
While the incident seems bizarre, it’s not unheard of. The shipping industry in recent years reported a spike in the number of containers lost overboard, citing larger vessels that can contain more cargo stacked higher, unpredictable weather, and increased demand, according to Bloomberg News.
Books weren’t the only goods in the containers that were damaged or lost in the ocean; according to the Post and Courier, they contained no hazardous material, and most appear to hold “lightweight cargo, such as apparel.”