Gastronaut: Adventures in Food for the Romantic, the Foolhardy, and the Brave
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Gastronaut: Adventures in Food for the Romantic, the Foolhardy, and the Brave

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  24 reviews
An irreverent journey through the culinary world of the exotic, the bizarre, and the truly extraordinary, Gastronaut is equal parts cookbook and quest book. For your bedside or your stoveside, this hilarious and captivating journey through some of the strangest food experiences, past and present, is divided into three levels of escalating difficulty. Whether you're ready t...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 3rd 2006 by Mariner Books (first published 2005)
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Bonnie Fazio
Jul 30, 2014 Bonnie Fazio rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Folks with strong stomachs; quirky foodies
Very funny in parts, but a few chapters went beyond my comfort zone for grossness. Just so you know, I'm not squeamish about blood, surgery, or even death (I read "Stiff" with scarcely a qualm). However, certain other bodily secretions, excretions and functions make me queasy -- and I have a terrible insect phobia. (The fear part pertains mainly to moths, but I find all insects repulsive, and can't stand the thought of eating or cooking them.) There were a couple chapters I had to virtually skip...more
^
Sep 06, 2014 ^ rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those with a jaded appetite
Utterly and quaintly bizarre. Almost as good for foodie conversation (dinner party, BBQ, or down the pub) as Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall; however HFW has the massive advantage in that you can actually cook, and eat very well, from his writings.

"Gastronaut" is a fascinating addition to the shelves of "What under-represented angle can I possibly find to write about in the subject area of food and eating?" OK, yes, I mildly enjoyed reading it; even though I had to grit my teeth during the sections m...more
Datsun
Jul 29, 2008 Datsun rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hungry people, gourmands, food perverts
Shelves: cooking
I had to work really hard to ignore the picture of the author. He's got the same glasses-haircut combo as most of the snotty, faux-boho, crypto-yuppie neo-leftie scumbags that are always blocking up the aisles at the supermarket here, looking for organically sourced frozen dinners and responsibly farmed soylent paste.

Okay, maybe they're not all that bad, but one of the worst of those assholes and his bottle-blond dingbat of a wife were following me around today, blathering about how hard it was...more
Marie
Gross out factor in the first half is not very entertaining. Eked a slight comeback in the other half, squeaking by with two stars.
Niya B
The text is charmingly inspirational thanks to Gates' very british sense of humour, and his attitude to eating. Few texts on the market today explore cannibalism, eating insects, hosting Bacchanalian feasts and making head cheese with the same earnest humour as Gates expresses. This is not a book to cook from (unless you have a large private property, somewhat unlimited funds, excellent butchers and very adventurous friends) but it is one to enjoy if you're contemplating philosophies of cooking...more
Camille
Funny book, provides topics for dinner party conversations. Gets men more excited than women (they all want to roast suckling pigs in holes in the backyard). I like it that the author has cooked and eaten nearly every recipe in the book - including boiled woodlice, head cheese (pig's head), and salmon with aftershave. and when he hasn't, he admits it ("If you can lay your hands on termites in any great numbers, it probably means your house is about to fall down").
Katherine
A gloriously strange recipe book, worth reading even if you never use any of the recipes. I really enjoyed this book and its premise, which is that you're going to be eating anyway, so why not experience eating to the hilt? In search of culinary epiphanies, the author explores the lowbrow (what foods make people fart?) and the highbrow (how to stage a Roman orgy in the comfort of your own home). The music suggestions are also spot-on.
Maria (Ri)
This book is hilarious! It is truly a wacky look at food. Maybe it is because I am pregnant and due with my second in just a few weeks, but I particularly enjoyed the section on making placenta loaf! LOL Stefan Gates is part foodie, part insane nut. That makes for a great and totally unconventional read!
Ariel
Some of the ideas are interesting but few of them are practical. The book is held together by its humor and music selections accompanying each recipe. But the recipes themselves are scattered and feel more like trivia. This should have been a Wikipedia article, not a bound book.
Linda
Not bad in parts. If you're curious, read the first few pages - either you'll like the authors style or you won't.

Having said that, the reference material in the back is quite interesting, and I'd suggest it for anyone with an interest in the weird and odd of food.
Colleen
If you are looking for an actual cookbook, this probably isn't for you. The author is definitely a little twisted, but this is an absolutely hilarious book. Lots of history on English foods, and some very funny recipes for headcheese and suckling pig.
Nytetyger
An extremely amusing, yet well written book about odd, interesting, bizarre, and amusing foods. The author never fails to be both entertaining AND educational... although when I am going to need to know how to make head cheese is beyond me.
Wan Ni
More essays, less recipes!
But I totally adore the tongue-in-cheek "put vegetable fats in a centrifuge" part when describing how to make margarine at home (if home is a food lab). That sort of humor is right up my alley.
Christopher Ashley
there some interesting ideas and recipes in here (especially if you're curious about roasting a whole pig) but a lot of the writing is kind of twee and precious and that turns me off some.
Dean
Funny,Entertaining..wierd as hell.

If you have ever thought about eating Bugs,Toenails,Hair,Human Flesh,or Singing Hinnie this is the book for you.
Chadwick
Enh. Decent writing, but too much emphasis on isn't-it-weird without anything being that weird. Maybe carpaccio is crazy in England. Whatever buddy.
Grillables
Rather silly book, full of recipes that try too hard to be shocking. Ends up being rather embarrassingly ridiculous instead.
Emery
It had its moments, but there were a couple sections that were disgusting just for the gross-factor.
Jennifer
I just can't seem to get enough of arrogant chefs doing kooky things...
PJ
Sep 02, 2007 PJ rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: eating
Experiments you never thought of doing with your food or your body.
Jessica
Nov 17, 2009 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who really love food
I now have the overwhelming desire to roast a suckling pig.
Barbara
juvenile and silly book about weird food.
Bmilioto
entertaining but not much more than that
Kit
Jul 20, 2007 Kit rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: food
Cooking out of the box ... or out of the pot...
Sharon
Sharon marked it as to-read
Jul 31, 2014
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