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

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  3,238 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
In this outrageous and delectable new volume, the Man Who Ate Everything proves that he will do anything to eat everything. That includes going fishing for his own supply of bluefin tuna belly; nearly incinerating his oven in pursuit of the perfect pizza crust, and spending four days boning and stuffing three different fowl—into each other-- to produce the Cajun specialty ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published October 14th 2003 by Vintage (first published 2002)
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Jul 14, 2007 Oceana2602 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodlovers
It Must Have Been Something I Ate is another typical case of me being left unattended in a book store. It, too, was on the bargain table. It had a dog on the cover, who is looking into a bowl with a swimming man inside.
I had to buy it.

What it is about? Jeffrey Steingarten is food critic of Vogue. No, I don't read Vogue and I had never heard of him before, but he has a very entertaining style to write about food, funny and yet informative. And he really does eat everything. I love food and I lov
First Second Books
Anyone who has named their dog ‘Sky King’ is good with me.

I can’t wait for the weather to get a little colder so I can try this hot chocolate recipe! And I am tempted to make the potato gratin today. Possibly this will be impeded by me not having any potatoes? We shall see.
Sep 05, 2007 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodies, but als those who like engaging essays, regardless of the topic
A pass-along from my mom, It Must've Been Something I Ate: The Return of the Man Who Ate Everything is an amusing collection of food-related essays.

Steingarten is a food critic for Vogue; however, in this collection, he focuses more on the history of certain dishes and foodstuffs, as opposed to reviewing the producers of the dishes. He travels to Italy, France and Mexico in search of traditional breads, cheeses, and tortillas; participates (kind of) in the slaughter of a pig and visits some of t
Feb 16, 2012 Tuck rated it really liked it
Shelves: wine-and-food
classic steingarten, funny, controversial, mouth watering, informative, audacious and provoking. 500 pages of his essays on food and drink, mostly usa and france, with sides to china and thailand and lots of recipes that take 2-4 days and need a flea market table top rotisserie and 12 different brands of espresso makers. but really, he does look into food myths like cheese being bad for your heart and red wine being good. he also smuggles in french cheese (with full customs declarations), attemp ...more
Chris "Stu"
Jun 29, 2011 Chris "Stu" rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned, 2011
Jeffrey Steingarten is just such a pompous ass that I couldn't be bothered to finish it. He is smug, sure of himself, and lecturing, and proud of all these things. He writes his articles with his pompous bullshit at the center of them. The man clearly knows his shit in the kitchen, but I couldn't get myself to continue reading, despite the possibility that I'd learn something, because I couldn't bring myself to hang out with this guy annoying me in my bed, on the couch, on the subway, at lunch t ...more
Apr 28, 2017 K. marked it as dnf
Shelves: non-fiction, food, essays
After about 150 pages, Steingarten tipped over the edge into insufferable, after starting out as cautiously entertaining. I couldn't take more hyperbolic descriptions of food interspersed with casually offensive remarks about women or the name-dropping, though I should have expected the latter from a Vogue writer, I suppose.
Mar 15, 2012 Kayla rated it liked it
Shelves: full-reviews, i decided to read Jeffrey Steingarten's follow up to The Man Who Ate Everything, which I was highly impressed with (enough to spend another $13 on this book)...Like his previous book, this was a collection of essays written over a period of years. The purpose of the book is to dispel the excuses people use to blame food for their various maladies (i.e, ugh i dont feel mustve been something I ate), and Steingarten started out with essays that were completely on point with this ...more
Dec 18, 2011 George rated it really liked it
Jeffrey Steingarten is (was?) a food writer for Vogue magazine. He is more than a little arrogant ("despite an abundance of God-given modesty"). He is also guilty of repeatedly using some annoying phrases ("and the scales came off my eyes"). That said he has taken his passion for food to help inform and to debunk misinformation. This is his second book, and follows the same format as his first reprinting articles he wrote for Vogue where he does a deep dive into some aspect of food or drink. Who ...more
May 24, 2007 Mary rated it it was ok
I'm still working on this, maybe, even though I've put it aside for now.

The intro was smart and funny and hooked me. He's much more adorable in writing than when I've seen him talking. Reading on, the cute continues, along with a lot of well-researched information. It's easy to become intoxicated with his giddy obsessions. Unfortunately, there's something lost with time. These pieces were written in the late '80s and early '90s, and could stand a new edition to update what is really compelling
Brilliant food writing: witty, intelligent, informative. The only problem with this book is that while reading it, one wants to cook all the time (not that one's relatives object, though).
Maya Ratna
May 17, 2017 Maya Ratna rated it did not like it
makes me hungry! but bored me :(
Sep 01, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it
This book was great - it can't top Steingarten's "The Man Who Ate Everything" but it's still excellent. I felt like I adored every story in the first book while in this one, there's a few stories I started and then skipped, such as his ode to phen-fen. Just didn't grab me.

But more often than not, I am so charmed by Steingarten's hilarious passion for food - for all things edible and for every part of the process of making things edible - that I get completely sucked in to articles on topics I wo
Kristin Strong
Jan 17, 2017 Kristin Strong rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, essays, food
There's a little snark, there are plenty of strongly held opinions, there are essays that often veer between food and travel writing, there are recipes, and there is a consistently clear and readable voice that will tell you more about various foods and means of cooking them than you ever dreamed you'd want to know.

Jeffrey Steingarten, food writer/critic for Vogue magazine, loves to eat and wants to make the acts of preparing and consuming food as meaningful and fulfilling for everyone as they a
Jan 27, 2009 Ty rated it really liked it
For those who don't know him, the author, Jeffrey Steingarten, is a famous food writer for Vogue magazine and a frequent judge on Iron Chef America. On Iron Chef, Steingarten is famous for his sarcasm and dry wit, and all of this comes through in this book. The book is a compilation of the author's columns from the magazine, but they are fairly long, so it reads as a series of loosely related chapters. Steingarten is somewhat obsessed with several things, including recreating famous dishes, expl ...more
Jul 19, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays, food, abandoned
I'm giving this book 4 stars, even though I don't personally find it interesting enough to finish. Steingarten is a food writer for Vogue Magazine, and It Must've Been Something I Ate is a collection of his previously published essays. He's very witty, a gourmand but not at all a food snob, and I liked the individual essays, but after I read the first half of the book I felt like that was enough. I'm at somewhat a loss to explain this reaction. I think I was expecting something along the lines o ...more
711Isabel B
Apr 25, 2011 711Isabel B rated it really liked it
I am reading IT MUST'VE BEEN SOMETHING I ATE, by Jeffery Steingarten, a Vogue food critic (although the book has absolutely nothing to do with clothes style).

So far, I'm enjoying it (despite how slowly I'm reading it - I keep getting distracted - look! A butterfly!). Steingarten's writing is very good. He writes in a format similar to Atul Gawande's BETTER and COMPLICATIONS. He will have a little anecdote, followed by a longer description about an idea or curiosity he had about the topic, then
Rosanne Swiatek
Oct 20, 2013 Rosanne Swiatek rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of treatises on food, eating, travel, medical and scientific research. He is probably America's No. 1 food writer/critic, who writes the food column for Vogue Magazine. This book is excellent and also contains recipes -- some of which I would never have even attempted at my height of gourmet cooking (25-30 years ago) because of incredible cost of ingredients, scarcity of ingredients, and the length of time it takes to make (3 days up to weeks!). However, some recipes seem at ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Alarra rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, food
Early in this second collection of foodie essays, Steingarten goes after saturated fats and how they're not really a factor in cardiovascular disease and the scientists are all lying to you, and I started rolling my eyes and frothing that Steingarten needs to back off and leave science to the experts.

Luckily, after the first section Steingarten gets back to what he does best - writing about recreating amazing food experience in such a geeky, joyous, obsessive way - and by the end I really really
Aug 13, 2015 Kenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Articles of interest:

"Cream of the Crop" about the Chino farming family in northern California (Sept. '99) - also with cream corn recipe!

"Where's the boeuf?" which has a misleading title, and actually spends more time discussing a notable French chef, Alain Passard's conversion to vegetarian dishes. So, I guess the title is accurate, but the emphasis on the word "boeuf" is really what's misleading to me. (May '01)

"Downtown and Far Away" - a sociological study of Chinese immigrants south of the E
Jenn Adams
Nov 05, 2011 Jenn Adams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this essay collection, but I remember enjoying Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything a good bit more, so I had to refrain from a 5 star rating here. Probably just a personal preference, as I can't put my finger on anything drastically different between the two.

I would say this is definitely not the type of nonfiction book that is "for everyone". Instead, if you are the type of person that enjoys reading moderately snarky and incredibly detailed food essays, you'll likely love
Aug 13, 2009 Claudia rated it liked it
I do enjoy his work, but this was a bit uneven. I confess, I find the travel-writing pieces to be the least interesting (because I don't generally like travel writing), nor am I a big fan of the name-dropping. Yes, yes, you know all the best food people, and I'm happy for you, but since I can't just call up the best pastry chef in France any old time, it's not exactly helpful to keep telling me that's how you solve your problems.

When Steingarten just focuses on food, straight up, though, he's re
Maria Elmvang
Jun 11, 2010 Maria Elmvang rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maria by: Julie Powell
An amusing collection of food-related essays. Like in almost all essay collections there were some I laughed at, some I found interesting, and some I couldn't relate to at all. Steingarten does have a very entertaining writing style, but I must admit that I didn't care much about his adventures when going fishing or the quest for finding the perfect original French cuisine restaurant.

On the other hand, I loved reading about his research of chocolate (who wouldn't!), his taste experiments of salt
Dec 08, 2011 Chinook rated it really liked it
April and I went to the thrift store on base once, and we picked this up just because there was a part about turducken, which at that point Samantha still hadn't made me. The point was for us both to read it and then send it to Samantha - and finally, I can. I was startled at how much I liked a collection of cooking essays. I actually had to state at one point that I hadn't been getting turned on reading about French cooking!

"It had started as a ten-day hike, but on day nine we began reading a
Jan 20, 2010 Leigh-ann rated it really liked it
Steingarten has always annoyed the heck out of me as a judge on "Iron Chef", so I was shocked to read this collection of his articles from Vogue magazine and find him not only likable, but charming. Go figure. The man knows food, and he's not afraid to get dirty (i.e., to actually cook it himself) to get what he wants. If you're a foodie, you'll love all the in-depth information about everything from finding the best Parmesan to making your own blood sausage (not for the squeamish). After readin ...more
Loved The Man Who Ate Everything. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of experiencing food, so of course when I came across this title, I had to snap it up, and ate it as well. I love the author's wit, and obsession with his subject matter. As always, somehow I draw out reading Steingarten, so it takes months or years to read a whole book, but this in no way indicates an issue with the pacing or writing, merely my own observed quirk, regarding the author's books. It is an excellent book, althou ...more
Krizia Anna
It was funny, mouth-watering and obsessing book about food. You'll definitely get hungry and after reading the book your brain would definitely be full of facts about food, how to cook good book and where to find good food. Scrap that, its not about good food but THE BEST food. However, that seems to be my problem, its food that not everyone can afford. Its not about the cheapest food but THE BEST food with THE MOST EXPENSIVE price tag. Its not for middle class citizens. I also got nauseated rea ...more
Apr 03, 2011 Jess rated it it was amazing
I came to read Steingarten's books from watching Iron Chef America. Every time I watched, I was baffled by his smug comments to the chefs and often exclaimed "Who is this guy?" in disbelief. So I did some research and found two of his books. I read The Man Who Ate Everything and fell in love. I just had to read this book as well and I have to say that it lived up to my expectations. He is the perfect judge of food because he truly has explored every corner of the earth and tasted every taste. Th ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Thenicole rated it it was amazing
It's kind of cheating to read about food, but where Jeffery Steingarten is concerned, it's never just about food.
It's also cheating a little to read this book before his first collection, The Man Who Ate Everything, because as with all great food writers, you do have entry into his life, and there is something of a theme to be followed (his tales of bi-coastal life, his "incomparable Golden Retriever, Sky King", his rotisserie...).

A fast and pleasurable read, plus he includes a few recipes.
Nov 07, 2007 Callina rated it liked it
This book is pretty entertaining, but nowhere near as good as Steingarten's first book, The Man Who Ate Everything. It's still funny and witty, and his sometimes petty tone will make you laugh out loud. Overall this read is just not as thrilling as his first; it contains great educational pieces if you're into history and a lot of pieces that basically just describe how a dish is made--not as entertaining as reading about taste-testing ketchups and the onslaught of chain and franchise restaurant ...more
Mar 26, 2010 Ben rated it did not like it
this guy might be the most pretentious prick on the planet earth, a pure hatter. If I ever see this guy on the street I would tell him that his book was not good and that he wrote it for his own ego, if he tried to defend his prickish ways, then I would force him to defend himself physically, this guy in on top of the list above Colin Cowherd in people I would like to assault. This book is not informative.
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Jeffrey Steingarten is an American lawyer and culinary critic/columnist. He is a regular columnist for Vogue magazine. He has also written for Slate. His 1997 book of food-related essays, The Man Who Ate Everything, is a Julia Child Book Award winner and was also a James Beard Book Award finalist. In 2002, Steingarten published a second collection of essays entitled It Must've Been Something I Ate ...more
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“As a leftover sixties liberal, I believe that the long arm and beady eyes of the government have no place in our bedrooms, our kitchens, or the backseats of our parked cars. But I also feel that the immediate appointment of a Special Pastry Prosecutor would do much more good than harm. We know the free market has totally failed when 89 percent of all the tart pastry, chocolate-chip cookies, and tuiles in America are far less delicious than they would be if bakers simply followed a few readily available recipes. What we need is a system of graduated fines and perhaps short jail sentences to discourage the production of totally depressing baked goods. Maybe a period of unpleasant and tedious community service could be substituted for jail time.” 4 likes
“Whenever I have nothing better to do, I roast a chicken.” 2 likes
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