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Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef [Hardcover]

Mark Schatzker
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 4 2010

The definitive book on steak has never been written-until now

"Of all the meats, only one merits its own structure. There is no such place as a lamb house or a pork house, but even a small town can have a steak house." So begins Mark Schatzker's ultimate carnivorous quest. Fed up with one too many mediocre steaks, the intrepid journalist set out to track down, define, and eat the perfect specimen. His journey takes him to all the legendary sites of steak excellence-Texas, France, Scotland, Italy, Japan, Argentina, and Idaho's Pahsimeroi Valley-where he discovers the lunatic lengths steak lovers will go to consume the perfect cut. After contemplating the merits of Black Angus, Kobe, Chianina, and the prehistoric aurochs-a breed revived by the Nazis after four hundred years of extinction-Schatzker adopts his own heifer, fattens her on fruit, acorns, and Persian walnuts, and then grapples with ambivalence when this near-pet appears on his plate.

Reminiscent of both Bill Bryson's and Bill Buford's writing, Steak is a warm, humorous, and wide-ranging read that introduces a wonderful new travel and food writer to the common table.

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Product Description

About the Author

Mark Schatzker is a columnist for The Globe and Mail and frequent contributor to Conde Nast Traveler and Slate. He has been a finalist for a James Beard journalism award and lives in Toronto, Canada.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read 'Steak' before you eat another one July 14 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Mark Schatzker's 'Steak' has to be one of 2010's best meat books, if not one of this year's top food reads. Even before purchasing 'Steak', I had a feeling it was going to be a great read when my local library informed me I was #58 on the waiting list. Couldn't wait, off to Amazon I went.

Schatzker's eight country, four continent tour in pursuit of the world's best tasting steak is not just about finding, eating, and occasionally enjoying great steak. There's an underlying equally important message here for both omnivores and vegetarians. That is, it is critical for all of us to develop closer relationships with farm level food suppliers--those farmers who have the utmost respect for land, animal, flavour, and nutrition.

Tall order you say? That's why the author has difficulty finding a great tasting steak. It's not to be found in the supermarkets, steak houses, or even most of our high-end butcher shops. That's where almost invariably one finds 'commodity beef'-- beef from feedlot grain stuffed cows that have been grown for the sake of quick profit, not great taste.

Near the end of the book, no matter the country, the reader realizes unless his/her steak is from a farm that respects both animal and consumer, it's probably not worth eating. To the credit of the author, he illustrates the importance of the farmer-animal-consumer relationship by raising his own beef cow. As you can imagine the result is some really delicious steaks.

Reading 'Steak' will help you realize more personal responsibility has to be taken if good food, not just steak, is going to be more of a constant in our lives. Abdicating this responsibility and leaving it in the hands of Big Agra only serves the corporate bottom line, not our needs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steak July 9 2010
Fantastic book. Fun read and very informative. Turned me into an obsessive carnivore, but only for grass fed ribeyes please!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Made me hungry June 27 2011
By A. Bell
A juicy tale of steak that has clearly been marbled with Michael Pollan's influence. Enjoyed the book, and now know a little bit more than I ever wanted to know about the subject. Have had meat-thirst for rib eye since I read it.
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