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How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food Paperback – 2 Sep 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; Reprint edition (2 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701169117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701169114
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 3.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Nigella Lawson has long been among the most realistic as well as the most readable of writers on food. Her description of a three-star dinner really is a good second best to actually eating it yourself. But equally she knows the inestimable value of a bacon sandwich on sliced white. This wonderful book combines both of these talents as she sets out on the ambitious task to impart no less than "the Pleasures and Principles of Good Food". The book is neatly divided into categories--cooking in advance, weekend lunch, low fat and so on--each with its own passionate and intelligent introductory essay. The recipes are straightforwardly presented and the occasional school-mistress tone--"you must keep your stock in the freezer", "I loathe the acrid dustiness of standard-issue sherry"--is always justified by its implication of an entirely proper seriousness and her endless common sense. But most of all Lawson is a greedy eater who knows about food and can write like an angel. "I hate the new-age voodoo about eating", she declares. "The notion that foods are either harmful or healing, that a good diet makes you a good person". Hurrah! How to Eat is the perfect book for anyone who knows that food is more than fuel. --Nick Wroe

Review

"Nigella Lawson is one of the best and most influential of British food writers ... The staple cookbook for a whole generation" (Ruth Rogers, co-author of The River Café Cookbook)

"My kitchen bible to this day... You made me realise that every meal is a celebration. You didn’t teach me how to cook. You taught me how to eat." (Nigel Slater Observer)

"How to eat, how to cook, how to write: I want two copies of this book, one to reference in the kitchen and one to read in bed." (Yotam Ottolenghi)

"A classic of the genre: a book that easily gathers both experiences and novice cooks under its wing, with something to teach them all, and a witty confiding manner as it does so. Frankly, no kitchen is complete without." (The Irish Independent)

"How to Eat may just be the best cookery book ever" (Daily Telegraph)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By KM #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 20 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an avid home cook borderline frustrated chef I love a good cook book! I don't just buy them and have a great line up just for show in the kitchen either, (You know, like people who have a lovely guitar on a display stand but can't strum a single chord!), I like cookery books I can actually use. This is definitely one of those books.

Nigella writes here as though she is actually with you (nice thought!) it is her talking you through the preperation and cooking techniques in good old plain english. There are no lovely foodie pics in here but passionate descriptions as only Nigella can let roll off her tongue. She's not afraid of food either, plenty of butter, cream, cheeese to go around and she likes a beer according to some of the recipies, good stuff indeed. Put it this way. . .out of 474 pages there is a section called Low Fat of some 37-ish pages! My kind of food :)

There's something for everyone, covering all the seasons and mealtimes- breakfast, lunch and dinner (tea oop north!) and supper, snacks and anything inbetween as there always is in our house! We eat meals between meals without ruining our appetites!

I love the wording of the meals such as "Camp, but only slightly, dinner for 6" or "Summer dinner with Wintery possibilites for 8", brilliant! I know a few lads for the camp option. Oof!

Some dishes I like personally that have gone down well would be. . .

Lemon ice cream (no fancy pants ice cream maker required)
Proust's Madeleines (you'll need Madeleine tins of course)
Sunday night chicken noodle

She covers all the basics too, such as making stock and salad dressings, flavouring oil, making mayonnaise, custard and of course there is a basic white loaf recipie at the beginning.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much favourite cook book, bought 2 one for each of our sons who are off to uni this year! They were disappointed as there are no pictures (what do they know anyway). I love this book the recipient are foolproof, delicious and I love the way Nigella writes with such enthusiasm. I love the fact that she does whole menu suggestions. I love love love this book. ❤️❤️❤️
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect of this book; being a big fan of Nigella in our house, we already own a lot of her more recent books (such as Nigella Express, Kitchen, Nigellisima and of course Nigella's Christmas).

And when I first flicked through the book I was worried... no images, or at least no food images(!). Recipes in book are sometimes broken up with a random image of a rolling pin or a random ingredient, but I really thought I was going to hate this book (have uploaded a couple of images so you can see how typical pages look).

Thinking I had made a mistake (and wishing I had clicked Amazon's `look inside' before buying) I started to read the book anyway... and turned out to be very pleasantly surprised.

`How to Eat' is less your traditional recipe book of instructions accompanied with images, it is much more like listening to a friend tell you how to do a recipe.

Indeed the book is very conversational and contains all the information and advice you could wish for; my wife likened it to her mum telling her how to do a recipe over the phone and I think this analogy is very appropriate.

The book contains over 350 recipes, with the premise of them all being uncomplicated and delicious. And to date I would concur.
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By SecretSweets VINE VOICE on 20 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Not that I have anything against America, but not knowing that this edition is an American 'translation', I was just a tad surprised when I saw the measurements in 'cups'. The shock wore off as soon as I started reading. Nigella has the most wonderful way of communicating with her readers - her simple but elegant use of big words!
I find that Nigella's recipes and narrative style invites and encourages you to improvise and experiment. She appears to recommend feeling, tasting and touching the food, making it all a very sensual experience.
Nigella's recipes are simple and inspirational. She does not claim to be a culinary perfectionist and neither does she expect you to be one. This book does not make you feel guilty for not making your own stock. I use Nigella's recipes as a guide, following every ingredient if I can, but not sweating over it if I can't.
I just have one complaint about this book - no pictures. But hey, nobody's perfect!
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Format: Hardcover
No problems with the book, but this is the US version - hence measurements in cups, degrees Farenheit, etc.
Just thought I'd post a warning.....
2 Comments 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as good as expected
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By A Customer on 15 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
There was one reason and one reason alone that I HAD to have this book - Nigella's "Birthday Cake", a stupendous chocolate cake that tastes and looks like it took hours to make but is SO simple that even I can make it. She also tells you how to feed your little people and I have used many recipes for my little one to his (and my) great delight. Not only is it a great cookbook, but it's an extremely well written insight into Nigella's life and her thoughts about food and all the connotations that go with it. She's the new Delia and I'm very proud to have her book in my kitchen! I will be buying How to be a Domestic Goddess (or somebody will be buying it for me!!).
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