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The Man Who Ate Everything (1997)

de Jeffrey Steingarten

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1,6702910,326 (3.86)27
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.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente poritsrob, clockworktomato, ldetrimental, biblioteca privada, Markober, anirudhgarg100, TashaBookStuff
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    It Must've Been Something I Ate de Jeffrey Steingarten (sturlington, John_Vaughan)
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    An Omelette and a Glass of Wine de Elizabeth David (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: Elizabeth David, the first 'celebrity; chef writes as well as Steingarten and has better recipes!
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    dajashby: Another New Yorker on his life and opinions about food.
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I don't understand this book. The premise seemed to be that the author had lots of different foods that he would not eat (kimchi, Greek food, etc.) and he decided he didn't want to live that way anymore. He didn't want to be someone whose eating phobias made it difficult for his dining companions, like vegans or those insufferable people who choose to go gluten free. So he basically gets over it. He says that it takes between 8 and 10 exposures to a new food for a child to embrace it, and that it took basically that same amount of exposure to the foods he hated for him to get over those phobias. All this in the introduction to the book. The rest of the book is a snooze fest. The first chapter is about making bread, and he does diary entries for the journey he took in trying to make his own delicious bread. This could have been interesting, but it was not. After that I skipped ahead to a random page and skimmed it to see if the book got better. The page was simply a bullet-point list of ketchup brands, their prices, and a single sentence of review of the product. I turned ahead a page, then two, and found that he literally was listing his personal reviews of 35 different ketchups. Is this a joke? I cannot tell you how little of a shit I give about ketchup brand reviews.

In sum, it seems that someone has forgotten to tell this author that books are supposed to be interesting. Avoid. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
Even though The Man Who Ate Everything was published over twenty years ago, I have to think some of the truths Steingarten uncovered about food and the consumer industry are still true. Prices and other forms of economic data might be outdated but doesn't Heinz still rule the ketchup competition? Is there still a Wall Street branch of McDonald's at 160 Broadway, two blocks north of Trinity church? Steingarten will amuse you on a variety of topics from the safest time to eat an oyster, the chemical makeup of the best tasting water and the discussion of Campbell's soup recipes to instructions on how to produce perfectly mashed potatoes and french fries (is it the potatoe, the oil, the salt, or the technique?). Even Jane Austen gets a mention into his book. You will pay more attention to the waitstaff in a fancy restaurant after you read The Man Who Ate Everything.
One surprise while reading Steingarten. His quest to be thin. I have a hard time picturing any man looking attractive and healthy at a mere 116lbs. Okay, except maybe Prince. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Oct 31, 2022 |
I've seen Jeffrey Steingarten as a judge on the cooking competition show Iron Chef America and I've always enjoyed his gruff, opinionated personality - and especially his clear love of food! I was excited to finally get a chance to read the book for which he's best known.

It's everything I hoped it would be - opinionated, intelligent, learned, passionate, articulate, and funny.

I do have some issues with the structure of the work. This book is a collection of his food writings from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s. It's not a cohesive narrative. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that... but I've discovered recently that this isn't my favorite style of book to read. Each chapter is wonderful, taken its own. I just have a hard time getting into the flow of reading when the narrative is so episodic, and the episodes aren't connected. It makes for a choppy experience.

What makes this book important - invaluable, in my opinion - is the argument it presents for being well-informed about food and nutrition. Mr. Steingarten insists on researching various health, nutritional, and cooking issues as deeply as possible; he constantly seeks to see through the hype and pop-science, to dismiss the fads and fears, and learn what we actually know about these things. It turns out that knowledge is frequently very different than what we're told.

Bear in mind, though, that this book came out in 1997, so the state of knowledge has changed since its publication.

If everyone made even half the effort Mr. Steingarten goes to, to learn what we really know about how we eat - this country would be much, much healthier. And our food would be far more joyous! ( )
  johnthelibrarian | Aug 11, 2020 |
Most collections of previously published material (short stories, newspaper columns, etc.) suffer from a wide disparity in quality as well as un-linked subject matter making it difficult to develop an understanding of the "text" as a whole.

The chapters which discuss health research/health impacts have aged the worst, because they are an inch-deep in their information and largely outdated. The more personal chapters are much more rewarding and interesting. ( )
  sarcher | Jan 13, 2018 |
This book is as refreshing as a cool, green salad on a hot summer night. Steingarten is both serious and funny, sometimes self-deprecating, sometimes culture-deprecating, but always with a sense of humor and a rigorously tested palate. Funny, entertaining, and flavor-enhancing. ( )
  Jeannine504 | Jan 23, 2016 |
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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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