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The Man Who Ate Everything

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  7,639 Ratings  ·  520 Reviews
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, Stein ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published October 27th 1998 by Vintage (first published November 4th 1997)
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Jul 06, 2011 karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfictions, eats
wow, i have been "reading" this since july. i put it down a bunch and lost it once or twice, but still - it is shameful to have had this darkening my "currently reading" shelf for eight months. shades of Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children. but today i finished it!!

and it is truly a wonderful book.

this man is the anti-foer. if i were ever to read that foer book - the one everyone says will turn me into a cowering meat-avoider, all i would have to do to recover is open this bo
Jun 23, 2008 Julia rated it liked it
Shelves: foodie-stuff, memoirs
The entire time I was growing up, my feminist lawyer mother had a subscription to Vogue. I can't completely explain it myself, but woman does love her shoes. Anyway, I spent elementary school reading Steingarten articles for the mag, where he is still the food columnist. My conclusion for this book is that he is probably best in small doses. Like, monthly doses. But, if you've never read any of his stuff before, I'd check this out in one-essay-at-a-time stints. Steingarten is obviously brilliant ...more
Nov 29, 2007 Garrett rated it it was ok
Since I'm into cooking and, to a lesser extent, food writing, this book had been recommended to me several times over the last few years. I finally borrowed it from a friend at work and must say that it didn't really live up to my expectations. It's an interesting, engaging, often funny book, probably essential for the gourmand, but if you have a mere passing interest in gourmet and exotic food, you'd probably do well to skip it and read something by Mark Kurlansky instead.
I suppose my biggest c
Madhulika Liddle
Feb 15, 2016 Madhulika Liddle rated it really liked it
Or nearly everything, since it seems unlikely that anybody who had ever had a good nolen gurer shondesh would so summarily dismiss all Indian desserts as being reminiscent of highly perfumed creams fit only for the boudoir. But yes, Jeffrey Steingarten, once the monthly food correspondent for Vogue, does seem to have pretty much eaten the best (and the worst) of most of the highly acclaimed cuisines, at least as far as the Western world is concerned.

In this interesting and very eclectic collect
Sep 16, 2008 An rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Foodies and Lindsay
Recommended to An by: TV
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2010 Christine rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-cooking
Steingarten's compilation of essays on a wide variety of food-related subjects written in the late 80s and 90s seems like it might be an interesting read for someone who likes food and cooking. HOWEVER, the man's ego (astronomical, of untold proportions, seriously it can be seen from three planets over) is a bit of a turn off. Its fun to read about someone experimenting with the many ways you can use a particular kitchen appliance or how best to prepare a particular cut of meat, but in all the b ...more
Helen (Helena/Nell)
Mar 28, 2016 Helen (Helena/Nell) rated it it was amazing
This book represents to me a lost way of life. It’s a life in which I would read books like this, slowly, with particular pleasure, laughing out loud at regular intervals. Afterwards, I would have time to write about them all, and share some of my pleasure. I almost did this today but that’s because I am on holiday.

The Man Who Ate Everything is a book of essays, and really each one should be savoured at length. No rushing. Gentle but steady progress is the thing. I am at an age where I no longer
Emily McMillan
Sep 07, 2012 Emily McMillan rated it liked it
I am not a foodie, I don’t watch cooking shows and only rarely read Vogue; I had no idea who Jeffrey Steingarten was when this book was loaned to me. The title and the recommendation from a friend were enough to convince me to give it a shot, though I had little idea what I was in for. Steingarten is many things: witty, clever, simultaneously pompous and self-deprecating, obsessive and thorough. Above all he is interested, which is what kept me interested. He’s curious about the way foods are ma ...more
Jun 28, 2010 Vanessa marked it as unfinished
Probably not going to finish this one. I am not going to make it to book club, and, frankly, I don't like the book, or the author. He can be witty and smart enough at times, and I liked it for a while, and maybe it's just the bar-study grumpiness talking, but I really resent that large chunks of this read like a "dieting" memoir, and that if it were written by a woman it would not be considered some kind of clever high-mindedness, but rather just some woman ranting about weighing herself four ti ...more
Maria Elmvang
I was tempted to give this only one star, but it seemed a bit too negative for a book I didn't actually have to force myself to finish. 1.5 would probably have been fitting, because at times this book was really, really, REALLY boring... the mere fact that I've been reading it for more than 6 months should be proof of that!

The book blurb - as well as the title itself - led me to believe that it would be a collection of essays about Jeffrey Steingarten eating weird things. I thought that sounded
Bliss Phan
Oct 02, 2014 Bliss Phan rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 19, 2008 Angela rated it liked it
Recommends it for: food lovers
i liked this book better than the 3 stars i gave it, but i wouldn't say it was a 4 star book. every chapter was enjoyable. the author's wit and love for food are charming. the problem is that it's difficult to read straight through, as it's a collection of his writing from over a period of years, so topics and tone vary widely. he includes a lot of recipes that i intend to try and if the chapter on kyoto cuisine doesn't make you want to go to japan, then nothing will.
Dec 11, 2011 Minh rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
A surprisingly hefty read, The man who ate everything is a collection of articles that cover a range of topics from the perfect pie crust, american style BBQ, bread baking and the exquisite nature of Kyoto kaiseki.

A few of the articles go into excruciating scientific detail while others make me laugh at the pseudo science (the average mass of a standard shake of salt lol).

Fascinating read for lovers of food, but by no means a quick read.
Griffin James
Jul 19, 2007 Griffin James rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love to read about food
This book is great for all those who find themselves thinking about food during their idle hours. It also happens to be really funny! I often compare Steingarten to a food-obsessed version of Hunter S. Thompson. Pehaps no one has contemplated food in such depth, humor, and sometimes down-right obesessiveness as Jeffrey Steingarten.
Apr 28, 2015 Hubert rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
Excellent series of essays (many of them previously published) on food topics ranging from potatoes to Sicilian gelato to American turkey. Steingarten blends history, recipe experimentation, and wry humor to get get the reader really excited about food, perhaps even to the point of trying out food experiments in the same maniacal manner that Steingarten does!
May 04, 2010 Jamie rated it it was ok
Unfortunately most of the essays in this book were from the early nineties. I did enjoy some of the travel pieces, but also nothing original there - how many times can one go truffle hunting in Italy?
Niniane Wang
Jul 26, 2011 Niniane Wang rated it liked it
i thought this would be a novel, and it turns out to be a recipe book with a story/article around each category of recipes. it is good as a cookbook, but not as a story with character development or plot arc.
Jan 02, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it
More of a 3.8 really but I kind of adored this because Steingarten gets so nerdy in his search for the perfect flour for natural yeast's adorable. Definitely one for food addicts.
Aug 08, 2009 Margie rated it really liked it
Shelves: collections
I'm not sure what I was expecting (having never read Steingarten previously), but it certainly wasn't this witty, entertaining, or well-researched. Really enjoyable.
Nov 08, 2007 Emily rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: foodies!
actually I hate the word foodie. but seriously, this book makes food really interesting
Jul 22, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it
Good food reading
Jenny L
Feb 06, 2017 Jenny L rated it liked it
This book greatly disappointed me. The only reason I started reading it was because I thought it was a book about food. I was utterly wrong. It was a book about a man who loved food and was trying to los weight and liked to go on random talking rants. I'm sure other people will greatly enjoy this book but a I didn't enjoy it at all. There was some chapters that had food in it but barely... I'm really disappointed
Nov 25, 2016 Sun rated it liked it
Hilarious collection of columns and recipes by lawyer turned food critic. Full of interesting factoids, tips, and wit. Firsthand experiments in making bread, sorbet, and railing against the public health establishment on a cheap sustenance diet and lowering dietary salt. Goes into the psychology of food and it is not until later chapters that it gets into fancypants French food names and unpronounceable ingredients.
Mar 16, 2017 Melissa rated it it was ok
There were certain vignettes that I enjoyed but overall the collection was too long and I just couldn't bring myself back to the book easily or frequently enough. Also, the writing is 20-30 years old, and while you wouldn't think food would change much over time, the book feels really dated. For example, sections which talk about the cost of food are pretty much irrelevant now.
Jenna Ward
Feb 05, 2017 Jenna Ward rated it it was amazing
It was a great shame when Steingarten gave up writing to be a Food TV star. His two books and numerous food articles in Vogue are hallmarks of terrific writing: entertaining, informative, and often about something in addition to food and cooking, and almost always hilarious.
Mar 13, 2017 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Apparently Jeffrey Steingarten is kind of an asshole, I heard? Oh well. This book is fun, and really a story of how to become the consummate omnivore, and I strive to be like that. An omnivore! Not an asshole.
Mar 20, 2017 Diane rated it liked it
Interesting and funny in parts, but it took me forever to get through.
John Ewen
Mar 13, 2017 John Ewen rated it really liked it
Entertaining and informative writing on the subject of 'World Food' .
Mar 15, 2017 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
Mar 14, 2017 Nicole rated it liked it
Dated but some essays are very amusing. I like his writing voice. Skip all concerning the health qualities of good and diet. And best enjoyed in small doses rather than all together.
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eBook edition? 1 11 Feb 11, 2010 09:22PM  
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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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“Whenever I travel to the South, the first thing I do is visit the best barbecue place between the airport and my hotel. An hour or two later I visit the best barbecue place between my hotel and dinner.” 5 likes
“But the goal of the arts, culinary or otherwise, is not to increase our comfort. That is the goal of an easy chair.” 5 likes
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