Kevin's Reviews > The Man Who Ate Everything

The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten
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's review
Feb 26, 11

bookshelves: 2011
Read from February 12 to 26, 2011

This was an enjoyable book. I'm sure that I enjoyed it partly because I was already among the gastronomically converted before reading it and so I was able to enjoy many of Steingarten's intentionally childlike misadventures with, for example, fad diets or back-of-the-box recipes, as more than just humorous anecdotes, as inside jokes. In fact, in some ways I feel that he and I are of particularly similar culinary minds. For example, in contrasting his preferred recipes with convenience recipes, he describes his as ones that require between 4 hours and 4 days to prepare and that contain obscure ingredients best acquired from a foreign land. Yes! Finally someone understands.

Unfortunately, my present mindset was also a hindrance to my enjoyment of this book at times, although this may be largely due to the book's age. Many chapters address topics such as the American obsessions with nutrition, fad diets, microwave cooking and processed foods, all of which I have come to view as essentially products of ignorance and not particularly interesting. I think my views on many of these issues are shared by just about everyone in the 2011 equivalent of this book's (these essays') target audience; however, these ideas were probably revolutionary when this book was written.

Overall, this was a fun book and one that did at times inspire me, but not one that I will likely read again nor one on which I will likely spend much time reflecting.

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