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Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,738 ratings  ·  210 reviews
Think about that first tickle of hunger in your stomach. A moment ago, you could have been thinking about anything, but now it's thickly buttered marmite toast, a frosty scoop of ice cream straight from the tub, some creamy, cheesy scrambled eggs or a fuzzy, perfectly-ripe peach.

Eating is one of life's greatest pleasures. Food nourishes our bodies, helps us celebrate our s
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by Serpent's Tail
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,738 ratings  ·  210 reviews

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Sian Lile-Pastore
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wasn't sure I would like this purely based on reading the odd tweet by ruby! Was thinking she was anti-vegan, and wasn't sure about a slim person telling us that we can eat what we want. But I was completely wrong, and she addresses those issues - and she's completely fine about veganism by the way!

I really enjoyed her writing and how she discusses and examines eating disorders, classism and race in regards to eating what you want. This was way more than I thought it would be and anyone with ev
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is beautiful writing by Ruby Tandoh not just about food but bodies, culture, class, and feelings. It has been such a wake up call to struggle less with what I eat and slow down to be kinder to myself. There's a core of kindness and lack of judgment here that is so refreshing when it comes to food writing.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who knows me will know what a huge fan of food I am. I adore cooking new recipes, playing around with flavours, and visiting new restaurants. It comes as no surprise, then, that I have wanted to read Ruby Tandoh's Eat Up!: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want ever since it came out. Many will remember Tandoh from The Great British Bake Off, of which she was a contestant in 2013.

In her insightful introduction, Tandoh gives her reasoning for writing such a positive book about food; it di
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, food
I’ve never had an easy relationship with food: I hate cooking and dislike eating. It’s a way to alleviate hunger rather than a pleasure. Ruby Tandoh is perhaps the only food writer who doesn’t make me feel guilty and inadequate for this, which I really appreciate. In this book she takes the deliberate and revolutionary approach of not telling the reader what to eat. Instead, she explores the many significances of food, her own experiences, and how we can try to feel better about eating. I can’t ...more
Kelsey Landhuis
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Please trust that it's not hyperbole when I say that I really and truly believe everyone should read this book. I feel like someone who has always had a relatively "healthy" relationship with food but the way Ruby writes about it has definitely been a game-changer in moving my thinking beyond just nutritional value/food groups/carbs/etc. to all the ways that good food can be enriching not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

The one caveat is that she is a UK-based writer s
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
3.5 stars that I’m rounding up because I wanted to like it more than I actually did. There’s some lovely passages in here and I admire Tandoh’s passion for her subject, but in the end I felt like this was a jumble, with many sections not fully developed and contradictory ideas from one paragraph to the next. Food and morality is a complicated subject, and I admire and support her attempt to remove stigmas from eating what you like and the idea of good v bad food (so often laden with assumptions ...more
What a wonderful, marvel of a book. Ruby talks about food — the best parts and the worst parts — and food culture — same — so beautifully, incisively, decisively. It moved me to tears multiple times. Food is complicated and terrible and wonderful and Ruby embraces it while and helps us embrace it too.
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK IS SO IMPORTANT. It's comforting, thoughtful, and incredibly illuminating, and I can't begin to describe how glad I am that a book like this exists. Food is beautiful and it's also (as Ruby says) so fucking complicated sometimes, and especially in today's world of ubiquitous diet culture it's so essential that we look at the big picture of how the way we eat defines who we are and how we move through the world (and vice-versa how those things inform what we eat). Ruby Tandoh is so gene ...more
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I learned a lot from this book. Its sheer scope - delving into history, religion and popular culture to articulate the complexities behind eating food - was incredibly impressive. It was an insightful and engaging read that was ultimately a celebration of food, and it helped to restore my faith in humanity.

I am so done with ‘influencers’ in the food world telling you that you should feel guilty about eating some foods, and revelling in the kind of Masterchef ‘cookery’ (I will always maintain th
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I deeply appreciate that this book exists. I don’t have a good relationship with food, sitting at the crossroads of control issues, anxieties about ethical consumption, and just being plain old picky. I think most of us would benefit from unpacking our food hang-ups at least a little and Eat Up invites us to do so enthusiastically, affirmatively, lovingly. It says a lot of good things and I hope it reaches plenty of people who need to hear these things.

I didn’t personally enjoy it mor
georgia ☽
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I very kindly received this book as an e-arc from Serpent's Tail and Netgalley.

Ruby Tandoh, best known as a finalist on the 2013 series of The Great British Bake Off, is a massively interesting figure, especially if you follow her Twitter, where she has increasingly been championing the joys of food and eating and discussing her dislike of fad dieting and the issues that still pertain to our culture regarding our consumption of food as a pastime. As someone who continues to struggle with her bo
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ruby Tandoh is a young queer woman of colour who epitomises the best of millennial values, like self-care and not judging other people. I adore her. Eat Up is not a recipe book or a how-to-eat guide or even the radical manifesto that the publisher, Serpent’s Tail, says it is; it’s a series of intelligent, engaged meditations on food and the role it plays in our lives, and the ways in which our relationship to food intersects with cultural narratives about power, privilege, morality, money, class ...more
Make sure to buy a creme egg (or five) before reading!

I purchased my copy of this book at an event in Genesis Cinema, East London. A screening of Moonstruck in 35mm was followed by a Q&A with Ruby Tandoh, Zoe Adjonyoh and Rebecca May Johnson, and a book signing. The inscription in my copy reads, 'for Alisha, eat up! take good care of yourself,' followed by a heart and Ruby's name.

This book was a delight from beginning to end. Ruby's writing style is so warm and energetic, and occasionally s
I loved this, and I knew that I would. Ruby Tandoh is excellent at writing about food and cultural norms; there were passages that positively sang! My favourites were the ode to supermarkets and the bit about the "aspirational" nature of food and fashion these days.

As soon as I finished it, I felt the urge to go and pore over the recipe books on my kitchen windowsill so I could plan my next session of comforting-yet-slightly-challenging cooking (lately I've been getting frustrated with rotating
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a joy to read. Ruby Tandoh explores the often contentious relationship food has with class, race, bodies, and wellness, and unpacks them with sensitivity and nuance. I loved that the book was also peppered with recipes from her personal collection- most of which were simple, consisted of easily accessible ingredients, and sounded absolutely delicious.
Jessica Kennedy
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ruby is an exquisite writer and her passion for food is infectious. Now I just want to cook and be cooked for.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, food
Great British Baking Show contestant Ruby Tandoh has presented us with an absolute treat of a book here. Her love of food, from the sublime to the banal, fast to slow, salty to umami to sweet, light to greasy, comes through like a shock of surprising flavor that's as delicious as her sensually-adjectived prose. No stranger to food shame, Ruby (can I just call her Ruby? I feel like we might be on a first-name basis after this book) is open about her recovery from an eating disorder, and adds to h ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Momentami wydawało mi się, że ja pisałam tę książkę. Moim zdaniem pozycja obowiązkowa dla osób, które czują, że mogą mieć lekko niezdrową relację z jedzeniem i są zagubione w natłoku informacji o żywieniu. Na plus dobra (i w ogóle istniejąca) bibliografia.
Rosie Ellen
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been raving about this book to everyone as I've read it. It was wonderful. Part memoir, part psychology of eating, part food history, part cook book. Just a wonderfully written, thought provoking, memory stirring really really interesting read. It stirred a lot of emotion surprisingly. I cried over childhood memories of tomato soup and felt heart pangs over Cadburys creme eggs. Thoroughly recommend.
Chris Roberts
Feb 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
NYC's Union Square,
of a sudden the Anthony Bourdain Gods,
gifted me a table at "Le Suck,"
publication party, five-millionth food book (ugh)
tarantula waiters scurry about in spats,
toasted twigs tasting plate - drink, drunk on wino wine,
I choked on an asparagus bone (file lawsuit here).

Chris Roberts, Breathless God
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, nonfiction
Eat Up! is such a fantastic book. Ruby Tandoh does a great job talking about food and the different ways it impacts and influences our lives. We get some recipes in here but we also get Ruby talking about her own experiences with food, as well as speaking out about food from a political and cultural point of view.

Food in relation to bodies, eating disorders, fatness and feminism. There's so much to take from that section, I was pleased to see Ruby saw that she has a certain luxury to say 'eat wh
Paula Dennan
Eat Up a thoughtfully written book about food, bodies, fatness, diet culture, the wellness industry, mental health and queerness. While it does contain some recipes, this is not a recipe book; it is a manifesto to follow your gut and take joy in eating the things you want, even if those foods are considered “bad” for you. Especially when those foods are considered “bad” for you, because food doesn’t have to come with added judgement. I devoured this in one sitting, but know I’ll re-read it many ...more
Bri (
I've gotta be upfront: I love Ruby Tandoh, the author of Eat Up. She was one of my favorite contestants on reality show Great British Bake Off and the co-editor of a lil zine that I adored (click for review). In this book and in all things, Tandoh has an approach to talking about the human relationship with food that I instantly devoured and wish more people were shouting about from the rooftops.

While Tandoh is more explicit about her personal relationship with food in Do What You Want and v
Emily Dixon
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's very rare for me to say a book changed my life. I left it a few days after finishing this book to review it, because I was imagining that the hype might die down and it would go from 'book that changed my life' to 'a very good book', but it didn't. So: this book changed my life.

I've never read anything by a food writer that I felt really understood me and the way I see food. I have a very difficult and changeable relationship with food, which has leaned towards different eating disorders o
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Ruby is one of my top favorite writers about culture, girldom and what those are like in the present day, and my favorite food writer. So many topics are covered here and it leaves my mind reeling with thoughts and ideas and impressions, the dominant one being that kindness and openness towards yourself and others will really get you wherever you need to go. She is so clever and careful around certain topics, so informative and thought-provoking, but at the same time really fun, inspiring and in ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ruby Tandoh talks so much sense in this food book: full of writing on the joy of eating, tasting and cooking. She sets out her food agenda, which is to not have one, just to follow your appetite, to eat what you love, to have a good relationship with food. Along the way she dispels fad diets and clean eating, tackles cultural food appropriation, food on film (my favourite) and what it really means when you offer someone a cup of tea. She litters her writing with interesting facts and comforting ...more
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
Love Ruby. At first, I was going to give this fewer stars because a lot of what she talks about is familiar to me and my own approach to food. But, that's not necessarily true for broader food culture, and it's been a big journey (for Ruby and for me) to get to where we are. So I give it five stars, because Ruby touches on everything from capitalism and diet culture to instagram celebrities and grocery stores and racism and who makes money from our food choices. It's brilliant, and light-hearted ...more
Lena Barsky
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, how absolutely lovely! Ruby Tandoh has done an excellent job teasing apart the complicated web of emotions, attitudes, societal biases, and more that warp our relationship to food and our bodies. I love how each chapter is broken down into several mini-essays all musing on a larger theme, and I appreciate how approachable (and achievable!) all of her recipes are/seem.

This has given me a lot of FOOD FOR THOUGHT (insert terrible pun rimshot here*) in terms of my own approaches to food, appeti
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Truly fascinating and enjoyable. The themes covered in this book - film, Gender, Queerness, health, etc - are broad and incredibly well researched, and yet it never feels bogged with information. I very much heard the words in Ruby’s voice - her GBBO doubts and worries, the blurbs in her cookery books and her often controversial social media postings.

‘Breath of fresh air’ sounds incredibly cliche, but (as she says) at a time when food writing is incredibly elitist or following some sort of ‘clea
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British chef who became known to television audiences as a contestant on The Great British Bake Off in 2013. She is the author of the cookbook Flavour and has contributed to Elle, Vice and The Guardian.
“No doubt some people, probably guys, will be thrown off balance by your forthrightness. Who cares. Eat their leftovers. If they carry on judging you, eat them, too.” 2 likes
“You can sit in front of the campfire with toasted marshmallow melted into your beard because, goddammit, life goes on.” 1 likes
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