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3.3  ·  Rating details ·  119 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Gastronaut is an irreverent journey through the crazy, twisted, mixed-up world of food. Its full of extraordinary, extravagant and bizarre culinary experiences, arcane information and practical recipes for spectacular food.

Each of us will spend 16 per cent of our waking lives cooking and eating. That time is far too precious to waste on chores, so why not turn cooking into
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 20th 2005 by BBC Books (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Bonnie Fazio
Jul 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything you didn't want to know about food, or wondered but didn't want to ask !
The section on Human Harvest, eating or drinking bits of human such as nails, earwax and others I won't mention, was a little suspect. The results were based on your own consumption of your body bits.
Breast milk came out as 35%. Now I would have thought that most women who are breast feeding have tried it, not as a refreshing drink instead of Chardonnay, but out of fascination.
As for eating/drinking items from som
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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").
Apr 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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!
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-challenge
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.
May 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
For some reason, this book was on my to-read list. After finishing it, I'm wondering why. While there are some strange, but interesting tidbits of information, for the most part, this is a ridiculous book. Maybe that is the point, after all the author does want his audience to play with food.
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foodie-stuff
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.
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.
Sep 25, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
Rather silly book, full of recipes that try too hard to be shocking. Ends up being rather embarrassingly ridiculous instead.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It had its moments, but there were a couple sections that were disgusting just for the gross-factor.
Aug 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
I just can't seem to get enough of arrogant chefs doing kooky things...
Sep 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
entertaining but not much more than that
Jul 31, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
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.
Jun 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
Cooking out of the box ... or out of the pot...
Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who really love food
I now have the overwhelming desire to roast a suckling pig.
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Gross out factor in the first half is not very entertaining. Eked a slight comeback in the other half, squeaking by with two stars.
Aug 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eating
Experiments you never thought of doing with your food or your body.
Oct 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nate Hendrix
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I want to cook a suckling pig for Christmas dinner. Inspired by this book.
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.
rated it it was ok
Aug 15, 2008
rated it did not like it
Oct 28, 2007
Nalani Rachel
rated it liked it
May 29, 2011
Wendy Harmon
rated it it was amazing
Jul 26, 2013
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