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on 17 February 2004
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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on 27 October 2010
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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on 4 January 2007
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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on 24 November 2000
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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on 12 January 2011
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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on 4 August 1999
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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on 27 June 1999
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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on 4 February 2014
For once a very well written and 'classically literate' book by an American author ; this is really a book of creative and amusing writing on the subject of food . It is a collection of the author's articles which were originally written for Vogue magazine , and includes a lot of interesting information about the food of the world ,presented mainly in an anecdotal style and also includes some valuable hints on food preparation . Jeffery Steingarten used to occasionally appear as a judge on Iron Chef America ; he seems to be one of a dying breed of 'cultured' Americans . These articles complied make a great book that's virtually essential reading for the 'food and cookery enthusiast' .
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on 22 October 2013
Very amusing, & written by an intelligent scribe. Highly recommended, if you enjoy food & want to read something different.
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on 12 February 2000
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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