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

4.5 out of 5 stars 147 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 (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 A Customer on 14 Dec. 2002
Format: Hardcover
How to eat is the stickiest cookery book that I own, simply because I use it almost every day. I have not reccomended this to friends, I just pretend that I have always made perfect pastry, delicious ice cream and sumptuous cakes - instinctively.
Nigella Lawson's gift is that she lets you pretend that she is as cack handed as you or I undoubtedly are and fills you with an enthusiasm for eating which quickly lures you stoveside. I have read this book quite a few times, almost as you would read a novel and have found it extremely comforting. Buy it if only to make the ham in coke, (sounds disgusting I know - but tastes fab), the pastry - it has never failed me and everybody is impressed by home made pastry. Plus the writing, this really makes you feel that you have a friend and a glass of wine in the kitchen with you.
If I could only buy one cookery book, this would be it.
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Format: Paperback
Suffering from an eating disorder I had forgotten what it was really like to enjoy food and the fun of preparing and sharing it with friends. The book was a gift from my brother and at first I was less than enthusiastic finding the "no pictures" format rather off putting for a recipe book. However, after reading the first few pages I was hooked and have not been able to put the book down since. I have remembered the feeling of eating and enjoying just through Nigella's description of how she feels when savouring childhood comfort foods. I have rekindled the desire to share with others the kind of "communion" that one only finds around a table. It's not the recipes themselves that inspire me its Nigella Lawson's enthusiasm and confidence that spur me to want to enjoy food.
Far from the low fat, vegetarian, overly dressed way of cooking this book encourages sheer enjoyment and appreciation of real food that we all experienced years ago, before the age of diets and when cholesterol wasn't an everyday word. All of these recipes are easily adaptable both to diet and the amount of time available for the task, they seem to be more of a suggestion to which personal taste is the key rather than the list of ingredients.
A well written, fascinating and inspiring book.
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By A Customer on 6 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
As someone who wants to be more than a dabbler in cooking, I have to say that this book is absolutely superb. The recipes clearly walk you through the processes and are written in such a way as to inspire confidence in one's abilities rather than terror at one's perceived inadequacies. Even better is the fact that you can actually sit down and take pleasure in simply reading through. It serves to put you at your ease, and - certainly in my opinion - the warm anecdotes, stories and suggestions for cullinary sourcing are a much better use of space than pictures of the results of every recipe. I find that pictures engender an unrealistic expectation - certainly nothing that I have prepared ever looks as good as the picture on the pages of the recipe book, hardly surprising when they are usually created by professional chefs and photographed by professional photographers, both of whose jobs are to make the subject as artistic and perfect as possible. You end up feeling disappointed, which does little to assist in your appreciation of the food. This book avoids all that in favour of reassuring you that one's first pancake or blini is invariably a disaster, but once the first is out of the way, it gets better.
IIf you are looking for an invaluable kitchen companion, then this would be my first recommendation. Read it cover to cover, don't just flick through for the recipes, you miss so much that way. There's simple, everyday suggestions scattered throughout what some seem to think of as filler text.
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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.....
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Format: Paperback
More like an evening in with your best mate and a bottle of wine than a cookbook, Nigella Lawson's book is just brilliant. It's absorbing, funny, intelligent, and completely addictive - and that's before you even get to the recipes! Totally unpretentious yet gloriously indulgent, packed full of sensible, practical advice that will boost the kitchen confidence of even the most cack-handed cooks. I've read this over and over again and am not bored of either the writing or the recipes. Great to see a cookbook that revels in greed and has a healthily dismissive additide to food fads, dieting and general gastronomic snobbery. Buy it!
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Format: Paperback
I've had this book for about four years now. I had browsed through it a couple of times in bookshops but decided against it because it didn't have any pictures. It was only after I bought and loved Domestic Goddess that I decided to give this a try. It's fantastic! I have used this book time and time again. I think I counted about thirty recipes that I've tried and enjoyed, which is more than I have used any other book in my collection. What is more, I have more success with Nigella's recipes than almost any other recipe book writer; she's very reliable. I highly recommend this (and Domestic Goddess).
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Format: Paperback
This book has almost replaced my Delia Smith's Complete cookery course, which I used to use for everything - rice, yorkshire puds, pancakes etc. It covers all the basics - how to cook veg, meat, rice, cakes etc and then progresses on to recipes, organized in helpful chapters, such as 'Fast food', 'Cooking for 1 or 2', 'Cooking for babies' - it has lots of new and interesting takes on older recipes - beef stew with prunes (delicious - far better than you can ever imagine), pea risotto...
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