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The Man Who Ate Everything: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Food, But Were Afraid to Ask Paperback – 8 Jul 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; New Ed edition (8 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747260974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747260974
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.5 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Jeffrey Steingarten was a lawyer until 1989, when an invitation to write for American Vogue effected his metamorphosis into a food writer--unquestionably a higher form of life. As the self-styled Man Who Ate Everything, he could allow himself no favourite foods nor irrational dislikes; consequently, the first piece in the book describes his heroic efforts to purge himself of all food phobias in preparation for his new post. The Six-Step Programme he devised was largely successful: as a result, kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage), anchovies, Greek food and clams ("I feel a mild horror about what goes on in the moist darkness between the shells of all bivalves...is the horror deeper than I know?) all assumed a place in his diet. He became the "perfect omnivore". Now he seems to travel the world, eating. The Man Who Ate Everything deals to a certain extent with food and cooking, but its real subject (aside from Steingarten himself) is our attitude towards what we eat--what our food choices reveal about us. So he discusses the complex issues surrounding choosing the best brand of bottled water; the pros and cons of cooking "French" fries in horse fat; the deadly toxins that infest a virginal salad. He travels to Alsace in pursuit of le Veritable Choucroute Garni, to Piedmont to join white-truffle hunters, to Kyoto to worship at the shrine of kaiseki ryori, formal Japanese haute cuisine. By turns witty, learned, satirical and riotously farcical, The Man Who Ate Everything is never less than passionate about his subject. --Robin Davidson

Review

I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't adored this book once they've read it. (Nigella Lawson)

'wonderfully extreme' Independent 23/9

Gastronomic writing of the highest order, deserving a place alongside Elizabeth David and MFK Fisher. (Independent)

Here is a great feast of a volume, a banquet of a book. It is both long and rich, full of intense flavours, new discoveries, unexpected contrasts ... Splendid. (Sunday Telegraph)

Like the best modern-day food writers, Steingarten's style is a mix of wittily intellectual inquiry and glorious gluttony ... Little escapes his scrutiny, humour or delight. (The Times)

Absolutely not to be missed. (Jennifer Paterson)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Anyone who begins a chapter with the words, 'I like salad, eaten in moderation like bacon or chocolate, about twice a week' ought to be compulsory reading, for Steingarten's insouciant wit makes every chapter in this delightful book an indulgent pleasure. Cheer up your library with this work; give it to friends in hospital who care about real food - Steingarten does, e.g. in Primal Bread he writes: 'The world is divided into two camps: those who can live happily on bread alone and those who also need vegetables, meat, and dairy products. Isaiah and I fall into the first category....' A joy to enjoy, and it's calorie-free.
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Format: Paperback
Or if it doesn't make you hungry, it will certainly change the way you think about food. Funny and informative, this collection of essays is a treat for foodies everywhere. The author looks at food myths and cultures, shares recipes and ideas but most of all shares his love for food.
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By A Customer on 24 Nov. 2000
Format: Paperback
A great book. One must remember that it's actually a collection of separate magazine articles, so it's somewhat unfair to try and review it as a single cohesive critique of food and the industries around it.
However, I have to agree with the reviewer who commented on the 'olestra' thing - this is completely out of keeping with the writing in the other sections. At the end of it he writes 'If fat is poison....', even though in a previous section he describes the same view of fat described by another author as 'dangerous nonsense'. I'd be interested to know how he justifies his views on Olestra.
However, this doesn't detract from the book itself. The recipes are marvellous (especially the Choucroute Alsacienne), the humour is just right, and most of his points are spot on.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a glorious book. A quest for pleasure and perfection. A desperate attempt to harvest the ultimate sensations from the corners of this shrinking and ever sanitised world. An assault on our kitchens and the repetitive mediocrity of our supermarket diet.
Jeffrey Steingarten is maternally tender with his staples. Bread, mashed potato and french fries live steaming and moist on the page. His earthy passion for seafood is indulgent. Truffles and sushi are the objects of quasi-religious reverence and awe. Vegetarians are put to flight and in the name of objectivity Steingarten excises the rank flesh from the pseudo-science of food, dietetics and nutrition that pervades western culture. His assessment of scientific data is cool, rational and learned and it is a joy to see the myths unclothed and debunked.
I finished each chapter laughing, mouth watering and twitching for the smell of yeasy bread.
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Format: Paperback
Absolutely wonderful. A food critic that would go to the ends of the earth to try something new, devour it and describe every mouthful so well that you feel full after reading.
I learnt more about food from this guy than a lot of the chef's out there.
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Format: Paperback
Never read this book in bed... you will get hungry and start cooking!

This it seems is a collection of foodie articles of the highest quality writing on a variety of foodie subjects.Its not a recipe book, rather the thoughts and actions of a man who loves 'food' and all its aspects. It should appeal to many people not just foodies.

Steingarten's style is intelligent but not academic. Similar to Heston Blumenthal I think.

All the chapter subjects appealed to me. This is a book one could read and reread.

The BBQ chapter makes me want to get on a plane, hire a car and spend 2 weeks driving across the South eating at every place he mentions.
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Format: Paperback
Steingarten's style is like none other I've come across, and this is a good thing. I'm a huge fan of Bourdain, Ruhlman et al but Jeffrey Steingaarten is a step above them all. His attention to detail is unequalled and his thorough knowledge is mind blowing, especially to someone like myself who though they knew a reasonable amount about food. Read this and I guarantee you will be entertained and learn a great deal.
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Format: Paperback
The idea of driving round Alsace, staying in gorgeous hotels and trying out different forms of choucroute on a regular basis, is one that I'm particularly keen on. To have the opportunity to sample various white truffles and the accompanying cuisine would be a dream.If I had the opportunity to research for a book this would be the one. I really identified with the author's desire to eat the best food the world has to offer. I therefore found it disconcerting to read a chapter in which the author takes just as much relish in entreating us to sample the fat substitute 'olestra'. I find it hard to reconcile his love of good food and hate of the enemy, animal fat. Surely these two things are inextricably linked?
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