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It Must've Been Something I Ate (2002)

de Jeffrey Steingarten

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9211222,963 (3.92)23
Jeffrey Steingarten's first book, THE MAN WHO ATE EVERYTHING, was an instant classic. Nigella Lawson said, 'I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't adored this book once they've read it.' The Independent called it 'food writing of the highest order'. According to The Sunday Times it was 'a banquet of a book'; in the Independent on Sunday it was 'book of the year'; and according to the Guardian it was 'wildly funny'. Now he has done it again. In this stunning collection of provocative, witty and erudite food essays, Jeffrey Steingarten continues his quest for the perfect meal. He chews over the supreme hors d'ouvres recipe, embarks on an epic hunt for bluefish tuna, and, in 'The Man Who Cooked for his Dog', responds to baleful looks from his golden retriever by cooking him dishes of braised short ribs. As ever, it's a gloriously diverse menu from the man who has dedicated his life to searching out the ultimate in food experiences - at considerable expense to his waistline - for your reading pleasure. Read it and eat!… (mais)
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Confessional: my view of Mr. Steingarten has been colored by other reviews calling him pompous and "casually offensive". Indeed, here are a few examples: even if said in jest, he wants to take credit for getting people to eat out of their comfort zones. He has a strong humble brag going on about the time he had a half pound bag of Oshima Island Blue Label Salt on his kitchen counter. The comments made me pay attention to every time he said something disparaging about women or demonstrated mock insecurity. In truth, it got a little annoying to be so hypersensitive to ego remarks like, "Where were you when you tasted the most delectable and expensive fish in the world? Me, I was in L.A." (p 13). Good for you, Steingarten. There have been a lot of what I call, "Have you...? I have!" statements.
But all of this is not to say Steingarten was not informative. I learned that cheese is not the source of your lactose intolerance and the monosodium glutamate will not give you a headache.
I have never been a fan of one collecting all his or her previously published essays to bring them out as a "new" book. It's just recycled words. To continue to pick on It Must've Been Something I Ate, I don't know how you can index Parmesan cheese a dozen times and not once put Italy in the index. Not even Parma makes a mention. Steingarten mostly focuses on French cuisine and French influences. He completely ignores Spain, Germany, and Italy (even though he has whole chapters on Neapolitan pizza and Parmesan cheese). ( )
  SeriousGrace | Oct 22, 2023 |
Great collection of slightly obsessive food writing; the description of making a turducken, including boning a turkey in a speedy two hours, is a delight. ( )
  adzebill | Jul 14, 2023 |
A collection of essays about food, written for Vogue magazine in the early 1990s.

I enjoyed reading it for the most part, if only for his enthusiasm over food, and his very dry sense of humor. As for the recipes, most of them I will not try and am not even interested in trying. They require complicated techniques, lots of equipment, and ingredients I don't have access to, not unless I want to pay through the nose to get them, and sometimes not even then. I am trying to get my kitchen and cooking down to the basics and simplify, but it is such fun to read about someone who is really enthusiastic about finding the perfect foods.

There were many references to New York City and the food purveyors there, which makes me want to go back. In many ways, his enthusiasm for food, and his confidence in his opinions on all subjects, and his humor, remind me of Brillat-Savarin. ( )
  MrsLee | Jul 15, 2018 |
I gave up on this after about 150 pages, when he started talking about his right to diet pills. He's not as funny as he thinks he is, and the whole thing feels forced and try-hard to me. A few interesting facts / observations is not enough to save it... ( )
1 vote AmberMcWilliams | Jul 10, 2016 |
Jeffrey Steingarten amuses and annoys me in equal measure, but since I keep finishing and enjoying his books, the amusement must be what lingers. It Must've Been Something I Ate is a follow-up to The Man Who Ate Everything; similarly, it's a set of essays on the many aspects of food and eating. Among other adventures, Steingarten goes fishing for bluefin, examines the technical aspects of Roman bread-baking, tests fourteen espresso machines, cooks for his dog, ages steaks at home, and attempts to make turducken. As a near-vegetarian, I discovered that I couldn't read this while eating: I have no problem knowing where meat comes from, but reading about making black pudding while eating was just not working out.

My one serious complaint is this: I wish he'd shut up about food allergies. For someone who understands the pleasures of cooking and eating, you'd think he'd get that some of us need to avoid or limit certain things in order to have the same enjoyment. Nope. If the joke comes naturally, Mr. Steingarten, it's because it's already been used too many times. Get new material.

Irritation (inflammation?) aside, while reading this book I just could not stop talking about it. There are so many great tidbits of social history and enough flashes of genuinely funny dry wit that it was worth wading through his less-than-brilliant moments. ( )
  melonbrawl | Feb 25, 2015 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Steingarten is an entertaining companion, friendly without ever quite being chummy, always letting you in on the joke. He's erudite, too -- a quick study and a ferocious researcher with a mind sharpened by his previous career as a lawyer, a prosperous life he claims to pine for when referring to his penurious state as Vogue magazine's food columnist.
adicionado por John_Vaughan | editarNY Times, Corby Kummer (Jun 2, 2012)
 
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Jeffrey Steingarten's first book, THE MAN WHO ATE EVERYTHING, was an instant classic. Nigella Lawson said, 'I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't adored this book once they've read it.' The Independent called it 'food writing of the highest order'. According to The Sunday Times it was 'a banquet of a book'; in the Independent on Sunday it was 'book of the year'; and according to the Guardian it was 'wildly funny'. Now he has done it again. In this stunning collection of provocative, witty and erudite food essays, Jeffrey Steingarten continues his quest for the perfect meal. He chews over the supreme hors d'ouvres recipe, embarks on an epic hunt for bluefish tuna, and, in 'The Man Who Cooked for his Dog', responds to baleful looks from his golden retriever by cooking him dishes of braised short ribs. As ever, it's a gloriously diverse menu from the man who has dedicated his life to searching out the ultimate in food experiences - at considerable expense to his waistline - for your reading pleasure. Read it and eat!

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