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The Man Who Ate Everything Paperback – October 27, 1998

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Editorial Reviews Review

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Vintage Books ed edition (October 27, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375702024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375702020
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeffrey Steingarten trained to become a food writer at Harvard College, Harvard Law School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Lampoon. He is the internationally feared and acclaimed food critic of American Vogue.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I would never have bought this book if a friend hadn't insisted that I sit down and read at least the first chapter. I like to eat food, not read about it. But Jeffrey Steingarten is a riveting, funny, argumentative, bloshy, emphatic writer. I laughed my way through this. I bought a copy for myself, then went back for two more to give as gifts. A surprising treat. In the beginning Steingarten writes about how he ate his way all the foods he had convinced himself he was repulsed by. And found some of them surprisingly good (others revolting). I would have argued that a book about food by the food critic for Vogue could only be a stuffy, pompous self-satisfied piece of writing. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. If Steingarten was an item of food I'd convinced myself I couldn't possibly like, I must now go back on myself and say, love it, DELICIOUS.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 15, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`The Man Who Ate Everything' is written by Jeffrey Steingarten, credited with being the food critic for `Vogue' magazine, belongs to a very exclusive club of American culinary columnists whose present leading light is James Villas and whose biggest star was M.F.K. Fisher. Oddly, I always had trouble appreciating Fisher's writing, while I simply can't get enough of either Villas or Steingarten. And, of these two, I am leaning to Steingarten if anyone asked me for a `good book on food'.

Steingarten's greatest strength as a writer to the amateur foodie is his ability to put himself in our position vis-à-vis the experts. He never pictures himself as an expert like Harold McGee on food science or Mario Batali on Italian cuisine or Nick Malgieri on baking or even like gifted neophyte Alton Brown on cooking technique. Unlike these professionals and teachers, Steingarten's shtick is how he gets there, not what he as learned after arriving. He is the culinary everyman's surrogate who can travel to Venice to visit Marcella Hazan for an education in cooking and eating Venetian seafood and have cooking expert Marian Cunningham fly in to teach him how to make a perfect piecrust.

Steingarten's introduction which gives an explanation of the book's title makes one seriously wonder what our dear reporter did before he was tapped to write on food for `Vogue'. His list of culinary aversions could fill several major cookbooks, and have. One wonders if Steingarten had any food related assignment before he embarked on reforming his tastes to fit his `Vogue' assignment. While I sometimes fear that my sense of taste is remarkably dull compared to those of talented chefs, my compensation is that there is literally nothing I will not eat and there are very few things I will avoid.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on August 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
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. I found myself laughing out loud several times at many of these admittedly wacky but witty tales.
The subject matter was in itself a winner - he touches on everything from non-fat fat to fruit ripening to when to buy certain products. And this is the best feature of the book - it is not only entertaining but also informative...the best of both worlds. He does not have the poignancy of a M.F.K. Fisher or the razor claws of the reviewer Simon Britchky or the down-to-earth charm of a Nika Hazelton but in his own way, he is just as good.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2003
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.
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Maybe he didn't really eat "everything;" but Steingarten seems to have come close. Once one gets past Steingarten's gourmand snobbery, this is a highly enjoyable and informative book of chapters, which read more like essays, on different food-related topics. Steingarten mightily challenges fad diets and nutritional myths (like all fat, salt, or alcohol is bad for one's health) with well-researched statistics and information presented in a very humorous fashion. He becomes personally involved with each subject almost to a fault. There are even a few recipes thrown in for good measure. Buy this book and feel good again about eating!
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