on 5 January 2014
This is a very enjoyable book, written by someone with a clear passion for his subject and who has a quite fluent writing style. The author travels to several countries noted for their steak and then buys and raises (and eats) his own cow back in Canada. It is essential reading if you are interested in beef. I am a bit surprised that he does mention Fassone beef in his chapter on Italy, which is certainly one of the highest regarded breeds there, and interesting in a number of ways. He does not visit Germany either, but these are minor quibbles. You are bound to pick up some interesting knowledge and new snippets if you read this book, even if you already know your fillet from your rib eye.
I thought I knew my steaks but after reading this book a whole new world has opened up. Mark travels around the world, the US, Japan, Italy, France, Scotland and Argentina trying to find out what makes a good steak. Through the visits you also learn a great deal about nutrition and healthy eating. Mark is not some jeremiad like Michael Pollan, so is a lot more fun to read.
My one criticism, in the ebook at least, were the lack of photos. I know what a rib eye looks like, but some of the cuts mentioned are uncommon and images would have helped.
If you care about what you eat, this is an essential book and well worth the read.
Bizarrely, though I've given up meat, I utterly love this book. There's so much fascinating detail in here, and I particularly loved the section on Japan. Part travelogue, part food journal, part technical handbook... Mark's writing style is very visual, so when he describes the Japanese fish market, he includes the details like the fish weight on the stickers placed over the eyes. There's so much to learn from this book, I wish I'd begun reading it months ago when I bought it!