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The Man Who Ate Everything [Paperback]

Jeffrey Steingarten
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 27 1998
Winner of the Julia Child Book Award

A James Beard Book Award Finalist

When Jeffrey Steingarten was appointed food critic for Vogue, he systematically set out to overcome his distaste for such things as kimchi, lard, Greek cuisine, and blue food. He succeeded at all but the last: Steingarten is "fairly sure that God meant the color blue mainly for food that has gone bad." In this impassioned, mouth-watering, and outrageously funny book, Steingarten devotes the same Zen-like discipline and gluttonous curiosity to practically everything that anyone anywhere has ever called "dinner."

Follow Steingarten as he jets off to sample choucroute in Alsace, hand-massaged beef in Japan, and the mother of all ice creams in Sicily. Sweat with him as he tries to re-create the perfect sourdough, bottle his own mineral water, and drop excess poundage at a luxury spa. Join him as he mounts a heroic--and hilarious--defense of salt, sugar, and fat (though he has some nice things to say about Olestra). Stuffed with offbeat erudition and recipes so good they ought to be illegal, The Man Who Ate Everything is a gift for anyone who loves food.  

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The Man Who Ate Everything + It Must've Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything
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Product Description

From Amazon

When Jeffrey Steingarten was made food critic of Vogue in 1989, he began by systematically learning to like all the food he had previously avoided. From clams to Greek food to Indian desserts with the consistency of face cream, Steingarten undertook an extraordinary program of self-inflicted behavior modification to prepare himself for his new career. He describes the experience in this collection's first piece, before setting out on a series of culinary adventures that take him around the world.

It's clear that Vogue gave Steingarten carte blanche to write on whatever subjects tickled his taste buds, and the result is a frequently hilarious collection of essays that emphasize good eating over an obsession with health. "Salad, the Silent Killer" is a catalog of the toxins lurking in every bowl of raw vegetables, while "Fries" follows a heroic attempt to create the perfect French fry--cooked in horse fat. Whether baking sourdough bread in his Manhattan loft or spraying miso soup across a Kyoto restaurant, Steingarten is an ideal guide to the wilder reaches of gastronomy, a cross between M.F.K. Fisher and H.L. Mencken. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Eight years ago, Steingarten left a successful law practice to become a food journalist for House & Garden magazine and Vogue. He has twice won the Beard Award for outstanding food magazine series and is a two-time recipient of the International Association of Culinary Professionals food journalism prize. Here he takes readers on a riveting tour of the world of food. From Africa to Asia to Europe, his food expeditions for the perfect recipe or a culinary secret moves relentlessly. Whether searching for Alsatian choucroute, sampling the mother of all ice creams, or deciding what to do with a Christmas fruitcake, Steingarten will garner the attention of food aficionados. In consideration of the excess poundage gained by his food foraging, the author also offers his views on low-fat cooking and the dismal world of diet cookbooks. The selected recipes and culinary tips included are a magnificent bonus. Recommended for popular cookery collections.?Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Libs., Ind.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, wry, and delectable April 11 2004
Format:Paperback
Steingarten combines passion, curiosity, erudition, and his lovely wry writing to make a great food book. His scholarly digging and his willingness to use the scientific method to test things is remarkable (his chapter on water, for example). He also finds some real food curiosities such as the Thompson Turkey.
Anyone who relishes seeing an active, far ranging mind at work will love this book. Great gift book. Easy to read a chapter at a time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'd actually send this man fan mail... April 24 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
and I would NEVER send anyone fan mail.
I'm afraid that my review of this book will be a complete cliche - ie. I couldn't put it down, I didn't want it to end, I laughed, I cried, I gained 10 pounds etc.
I found Steingarten to be insightful, hilarious, sarcastic and delightfully neurotic. I now realize the joy I missed over the years by not being an avid Vogue reader. I can't believe it took this long for my first exposure to such exquisite food writing.
I CAN'T BELIEVE NO ONE TOLD ME TO READ THIS BOOK UNTIL NOW!
As a (relatively) young person, who has recently discovered the joys of "that which is edible" - I found this book to be as informative as it was entertaining. Many of the topics that Steingarten explores were more relevant to my own culinary exploits and interests than I could have hoped. Despite the fact that I do not have the same resources and colleagues that would allow one to travel as far and wide as I'd like(and as he does), Steingarten manages to truly take the reader with him as he travels, while simultaneously making it possible for the young (or older) homebound gastronome to relate.
I will forevermore approach the subject of food as influenced by Jeffrey Steingarten. I will cook every recipe in his book. I will travel to eat. And most of all, I will overcome my food aversions (especially if stranded on a desert island and everything I would normally eat has run out).
Although I LOVED this book - I had trouble reading it without a break - since these are drawn from his monthly writing, it IS a big dose of food writing, but I took a night off and finished it with no problem.
Hope y'all like it!
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Format:Paperback
Despite the Oliver Sacks-like title, this is a culinary florilegium by the food critic of Vogue and Slate. I quote the New York Time Book Review, bowing to its laconic accuracy: "Part cookbook, part travelogue, part medical and scientific treatise." Steingarten is tireless in poring over the scientific research on nutrition and cooking, and clearly loves his subject as much as he loves to try the same recipe a dozen times, hunting for perfection. He praises the greatest cooking and the finest simple pleasures (McDonald's, barbecue), investigates everything from ketchup to salt to Kobe beef, and argues for common-sense nutrition. He kicks against the Food Police: salt doesn't raise blood pressure, sugar isn't that bad for you, alcohol is good for you once a day, etc. (His essay "Salad, the Silent Killer," even if it doesn't burst the bubbles of the Food Police, serves as wicked parody of obsessive toxin-phobia and fault-finding.) To top it all off, Steingarten writes very well and is at times wickedly funny. A great food read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious weird, and truthful (for the most part) Aug. 24 2002
By omigod
Format:Paperback
This is the funniest food-book I've ever read! I laugh out loud while reading it, and my husband always wants to know "what's so funny"?
Although he must be partly an epicurean hedonist, Mr. Steingarten has a very technical and, well, weird way about analyzing food. When he was nominated food editor of Vogue, instead of starting to plan wonderful exotic food trips, his first worry was - how was he going to force himself to taste things he doesn't like?
He also hits on many truths - such as "the french paradoxe" - and wonderfully bashes the current American fat phobia.
He often takes a very technical approach - the lesson on fruit ripening really opened my eyes. Ever wonder why avocados don't turn brown if you leave the stone in; read this.
He only disappoints me with his enthusiasm for Olestra. From someone who is so on target in criticizing trashy, artificial American junk food, "Butter Busters" and the like, this is a big let-down.
Read "The Zone" by Barry Sears, and 99% of Mr. Steingarten's observations (about olive oil, fats, carbohydrates, vegetarianism, etc...)will hit home.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun - Gastronomic Gusto March 24 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is hysterically funny and informative at the same time. The chapter on Salad the Silent Killer cracked me up. I will read this one again. Whole sections had to be read aloud, just because they were so funny.
When Jeffrey Steingarten was made food critic of Vogue in 1989, he began by systematically learning to like all the food he had previously avoided. From clams to Greek food to Indian desserts with the consistency of face cream, Steingarten undertook an extraordinary program of self-inflicted behavior modification to prepare himself for his new career. He describes the experience in this collection's first piece, before setting out on a series of culinary adventures that take him around the world.
It's clear that Vogue gave Steingarten carte blanche to write on whatever subjects tickled his taste buds, and the result is a frequently hilarious collection of essays that emphasize good eating over an obsession with health. "Salad, the Silent Killer" is a catalog of the toxins lurking in every bowl of raw vegetables, while "Fries" follows a heroic attempt to create the perfect French fry--cooked in horse fat.
Whether baking sourdough bread in his Manhattan loft or spraying miso soup across a Kyoto restaurant, Steingarten is an ideal guide to the wilder reaches of gastronomy, a cross between M.F.K. Fisher and H.L. Mencken.
Was this review helpful to you?
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Food Filled Book
I picked up this book on a whim, because I recognized Jeffrey Steingarten from Iron Chef on Food Network, and I loved it. Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2009 by A. Nunn
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for those in-between times
This is the perfect book to have when at a traffic jam, doctor's office or any of the hundreds of daily jams we find ourselves caught. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2003 by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and impossible to put down
I read this book in no time at all. I have found myself picking it up again and again to read the odd chapter. His recipes are superb and the writing is fantastic. Read more
Published on April 7 2003 by Andrew R
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get any better
Jeffrey Steingarten is simply the funniest nonfiction writer at work today. His wit, thanks to his self-deprecation, is never cruel. Read more
Published on March 14 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Perfection....
Jeffrey Steingarten presents a wonderful collection of his writings over the years relating to his all-consuming passion for fine food. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2003 by Chris Frost
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epecurean Heaven
At the beginning of the book I read that he didn't like blue cheese. I told my family that I was disgusted. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2002 by Nicholas Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
This is a wonderfully creative and fabulous book. Jeffrey Steingarten infuses his writing with contagious passion. Read more
Published on July 31 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and Informative
This book is a real treat for anyone interested in food, nutrition, or cooking. The author presents, in the most entertaining form, commentary on our diet obsessions, food... Read more
Published on March 25 2002
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