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How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food Paperback – Mar 14 2000


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How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food + How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking (*Metric) + Nigella Bites
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (March 14 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701169117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701169114
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 3.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

"Cooking is not about just joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next," says British food writer Nigella Lawson. "It's about developing an understanding of food, a sense of assurance in the kitchen, about the simple desire to make yourself something to eat." Lawson is not a chef, but "an eater." She writes as if she's conversing with you while beating eggs or mincing garlic in your kitchen. She explains how to make the basics, such as roast chicken, soup stock, various sauces, cake, and ice cream. She teaches you to cook more esoteric dishes, such as grouse, white truffles (mushrooms, not chocolate), and "ham in Coca-Cola." She gives advice for entertaining over the holidays, quick cooking ("the real way to make life easier for yourself: cooking in advance"), cooking for yourself ("you don't have to belong to the drearily narcissistic learn-to-love-yourself school of thought to grasp that it might be a good thing to consider yourself worth cooking for"), and weekend lunches for six to eight people. Don't expect any concessions to health recommendations in the recipes here--Lawson makes liberal and unapologetic use of egg yolks, cream, and butter. There are plenty of recipes, but the best parts of How to Eat are the well-crafted tidbits of wisdom, such as the following:

  • "Cook in advance and, if the worse comes to the worst, you can ditch it. No one but you will know that it tasted disgusting, or failed to set, or curdled or whatever."

  • On the proper English trifle: "When I say proper I mean proper: lots of sponge, lots of jam, lots of custard and lots of cream. This is not a timid construction ... you don't want to end up with a trifle so upmarket it's inappropriately, posturingly elegant. A degree of vulgarity is requisite."

  • "Too many people cook only when they're giving a dinner party. And it's very hard to go from zero to a hundred miles an hour. How can you learn to feel at ease around food, relaxed about cooking, if every time you go into the kitchen it's to cook at competition level?"

--Joan Price --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"Her prose is as nourishing as her recipes — it should please mere readers, serious cooks and happy omnivores."
—Salman Rushdie

"I love Nigella Lawson's writing and I love her recipes."
—Delia Smith

"One of the best and most influential of British food writers — bound to become a staple cookbook for a whole generation."
—Ruth Rogers, The River Cafe Cook Book

"Cerebral and scintillating advice — peppered with wit."
Sunday Times

"A gloriously sensual wander through the possibilities of food. The recipes read more like seduction than instruction."
Independent

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
The Great Culinary Renaissance we have heard so much about has done many things-given us extra virgin olive oil, better restaurants, and gastroporn-but it hasn't taught us how to cook. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 18 2002
Format: Paperback
Please let me say first off that I adore Nigella. She is like the cool sister you never had. She offers up recipes for just about anything you would ever want to cook, as well as her opinions in a certain way that makes me look to her a bit like one would a mentor. It's because she knows a lot about food, and has a great deal of life experience, from travelling and working as a restaurant reviewer, to share. For example, she's firm in her belief that a salad should be green or red. Choose. Either make it with lettuces or make a beautiful tomato salad -- better yet, set the ripe tomatoes in the center of the table with a knife, and let your guest have at it. It's something I'd never thought about before, and now that I have, I agree.
I consult this book for inspiration, comfort, advice, and sometimes just to fantasize about a proper British Sunday meal or some other menu. The book is interesting and fun to read, and does inspire confidence. My latest success related to this book came after consulting it for my four-year-old's birthday party. The crowning jewel was a brilliant-green Jurassic cake laden with miniature plastic toy dinosaurs and a palm tree -- it was a huge hit. (Cheese biscuit "W"s too.) I appreciate how Nigella stresses that her recipes and suggestions are meant to serve as guidelines, not rules written in stone. In fact, some of the recipes I would change and have, tweaking and improving upon them for my tastes. It's more about the approach to food and eating. Nigella is smart, smart, smart, and truly a breath of fresh air.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By - Kasia S. on Oct. 31 2002
Format: Hardcover
Before i cooked anything from this cookbook, i was fascinated that it reads more like a lifestyle manual than a typical cookbook. Reading it i could almost hear Nigella saying the words in my head.
The recipies are fun and well thought of, her Macaronie and Cheese is fabulous, and soo easy! I enjoy laying around the house, sipping tea and reading between the recipies, because that girl has a talent for words. I love this book, she did a great job, as usual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "jj6407" on Sept. 24 2002
Format: Paperback
An excellent cookbook - but to use the word "cookbook" to describe it is almost an injustice because it is so much more. This is an exploration of food and the pleasures of both preparing food and eating it. This is more a novel with intricate plot twists than a boring cookbook with stodgy lists of recipes and ingredients. Indeed, the best thing about this book is the way you can pick it up and just read it - just like your favorite novel. The author is cheeky and delightful and my favorite part is her treatise on low fat cooking - how it is (at least for many people, me included) a reflection of vanity. The recipes are simple to follow and the writing that accompanies the recipes inspires confidence and joy as well as the compelling urge to prepare what she is writing about right then and there, no matter what time it is. The desserts are killer - the sticky chocolate pudding cake is easy to prepare and the results are fantastic - both gooey and rich and I am ashamed to say that I ate enough of it for at least three people. But in all honesty, I think that the author would approve of my gluttony. I tried the golden vegetable root stew and although apprehensive when first preparing it, I served it to my friends and it was a hit, it tasted exotic and complex. However, I was perplexed as to why she added zucchini to the recipe since the zucchini had turned to an urecognizable sickly yellow mush by the time the other vegetables were tender. But it did give the stew a nice (although unintended) thickness. The chocolate raspberry cake was also quite good although not nearly sweet enough for my tastes (but then again, I love cavity-inducing sweetness). An excellent book and I recommend it for anyone who loves to eat and also for people who don't because you will learn to love to eat once you are done reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lewis Cruise on Oct. 29 2009
Format: Hardcover
I like Nigella Lawson and love her TV show but if you need pictures to see the results of the recipes, please choose another cookbook of hers because this one has none! Her writting style his fun, but this book is more like a novel including recipes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Oct. 14 2002
Format: Paperback
How to Eat is what a cookbook should be, just like Nigella Lawson's cooking show redefines all cooking shows. The recipes are divine and organized cleverly into useful chapters like "Quick and Easy Dinners After Work." The "Cooking for Children" section is also really useful. I've made several dozen meals from her cookbook and so far, all are winners. Her Basic Roast Chicken is divine--the best I've ever eaten, much less made. She is passionate about food, but in a down-to-earth, healthy way. She's also not afraid of fat!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "skye-dog" on May 26 2002
Format: Paperback
I just made the lamb shoulder (425 degrees for 30 mins per pound??) Needless to say, my kitchen was smoke filled after 15 mins and dinner was ruined. I live in the US, and wonder if there was a mistake in the metric translation. Browsing the other recipes, I discovered most of the oven temps seemed awfully high - especially for braising (400 degrees F)!
Please use common sense and don't make the same mistake I did.
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Format: Paperback
Nigella Lawson is addictive, which is a good thing. This is a book that is long needed because I think (especially Americans) that most people have forgotten what cooking and eating is all about. Anyone who has seen her cook knows that she understands the sensual and alas spiritual aspects of cooking and eating food. This isn't about sex, but the art of food itself. And in an era of junk food and eat and run she is a refreshing bit of culinary sunshine.
In fact I would suggest that this is a book that is as much about psychology and philosophy as it is about food and its preparation and enjoyment. And anyone who has seen her show on cable knows that she isn't afraid of food. She doesn't have that love hate relationship or a false mode that I think many television goddess types have. She is one cook-author whom I am assured doesn't purge after each taping and consuming of the food she has made.
And her recipes work! They are as doable as they are good and nice to look at. I also like the fact that she has a variety of recipes and ideas and not just a certain genre. Quick ones. Make ahead ones. Ones for parties and gatherings of a few to many. One thing I hope people get from this and all her books is her sense of enjoyment. Be it the shopping, or preparing. I wish everyone could also see her television show which we watch on the Style channel because she does shows that deal with the contents of her freezer-refrigerator-pantry and while she certainly covers these subjects in this and her other books there is something visually and audibly tactile about her showing what's good to have on hand.
I look forward to each new book she brings me since I learn so much. She also gives the term-title domestic goddess the respect it deserves...........
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