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How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food
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How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  6,150 Ratings  ·  114 Reviews
A chatty, sometimes cheeky, celebration of home-cooked meals."
"USA Today"Through her wildly popular television shows, her five bestselling cookbooks, her line of kitchenware, and her frequent media appearances, Nigella Lawson has emerged as one of the food world's most seductive personalities. How to Eat is the book that started it all Nigella's signature, all-purpose coo
Paperback, 496 pages
Published May 18th 2007 by Houghton Mifflin (first published 1998)
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Caulyne B
Aug 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like food
Shelves: cooking
This is part cookbook, but don't buy it for that. Buy it for Nigella's lovely thoughts on how to cook, what to keep around, and a philosophy about food.

If you're trying to cook from it, this book may frustrate you-- sometimes I had to dig to find what I had remembered reading. Some are just simple paragraphs telling you what to toss in a pan.

I would hunker down on the couch on a Sunday morning and I could almost taste the ingredients as they were described. Happy times.
May 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
I still haven't made the majority of the recipes in this book — that will take years — but almost every one I've made has turned out fantastically (and the ones that haven't have been through my own errors, not the recipe's). What's more, the book is a fabulous read; I can read it even when I'm not in the mood for cooking. Not for nothing did it win a Book of the Year award in Britain. Lawson's prose is fabulous.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't think it quite stood the test of time. The writing is interesting, as always (yes, I read Nigella Lawson's cookbooks for her style, so sue me), but the recipes / ingredients aged, and the way the book was published - with no pictures of the food - makes the recipes very easy to forget. The low fat chapter was among the most insincere pieces of writing committed to print. Oddly enough, though, the final chapter on feeding children was charming and informative.
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Nigella Lawson is one of those people you just like watching on TV. She could be making a tuna noodle casserole with Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, but the way her satiny voice describes food and ingredients, you'd think she was making the most delicious dinner ever created. I find myself frequently hypnotized by her way with words and she never fails to make cooking feel like a sensual experience.

Part cookbook, part dissertation to the merits of understanding food, Nigella wins you over in
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I don't know why I'd never thought to read this one - I love Nigella - but it had slipped past me. Then a couple of weeks ago at Cookbook Confidential both Kay Plunkett-Hogge and Diana Henry recommended it so I got it. Genuinely wonderful prose and doable-sounding recipes. And no pictures. I actually read it cover to cover.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
This is one of my favorite cookbooks, as well as one of my favorite books, period. Not everyone likes Lawson's narrative style, but I can't get enough of the way she writes about food. Her cookbooks feel like conversations with a close girlfriend, and not in the cliched Sex & The City kind of way. She's friendly, and real, and helpful, and she anticipates questions and concerns that I have about recipes, ingredients, menus, and meals.

One of the best things about this book is the inclusion o
This has become one of my favorite new cookbooks (recommended by Not only is the writing great but I love the way she talks about food. It's in the title. There's the same appreciation in the book everywhere. This book does have recipes but she doesn't expect you to follow them slavishly. I rather think she hopes that the reader might gain that same appreciation for good food and caring about what you eat that she has. And then there are fun quotes like "wisely eating custard ...more
Feb 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just delightful. And I love how she shares the story about collecting chicken carcasses - even from friends' dinner parties - to make stock!
Fateha Ar
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
My first ever cookbook. I didn't want to buy a traditional cookbook with just recipes. I wanted to know the thinking behind the cooking process and this book is perfect for that. Mind you, this cookbook doesn't have any pictures whatsoever so I don't recommend this for beginners. I just love watching Nigella Lawson's cooking show and how articulative she is. She's a good writer too. I didn't know she was never a chef to begin with. She was a journalist! Definitely a motivation for me to cook
Isadora Torres
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I signed as "read".
There's no bigger lie than this, not because I haven't read it, but simply because I have the feeling I will never ever ever stop reading this book.
It's not a simple cookbook, How to eat is almost a novel about the joy of cooking & eating.
Nigella wrote the Bible.
Justin Walshaw
With your mouth hole
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A pleasure to cook from and a pleasure to read--I love Nigella's approach to life and cooking.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbook, got-rid-of
I received this as a Christmas gift, my dad decided to give everyone cookbooks this year. I had never heard of the author, but apparently she is a British lady that has a show on the Food Network.

Just from perusing through this book it seems many of the recipes call for exotic ingredients, like hare, quail eggs, etc. that would be likely expensive and hard to find, even if you live in a large metro area as I do. A lot of the traditional English dishes she has here are pretty fattening as well.
Kaajal Noorani
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How To Eat.....the title at first can be a put off. But once you open it and glance through the pages and Content, it seems that you ought to buy this book. It is from Basics to just anything about cooking. Correct and appropriate tips that you can never Forget. Basics like broth and meats and how to treat them. She Shares alot from her experience as a that have been passed on from her grandmother and some that she has chanced upon. How meals can be managed and combination Foods ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having already bought a couple of Nigella's cookbooks, I did not realize that this one was the first, and somewhat different in that it is mostly commentary about food and entertaining. The commentary is both engaging and affected, the recipes are fairly straightforward. The measurements are all metric, and some of the vocabulary is British (remind me what a mangetout is).

I went on to read a short biography of Nigella and discovered that she does in fact come from a background of wealth and priv
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone wrote that if one liked the writing of Laurie Colwin, this book of Nigella Lawson's would also be appealing. Well, that person was right!

While it is impossible to compare these two women, both write lovingly about food and eating. Lawson calls herself an eater, not a chef, and I am sure that Colwin would have described herself the same way.

This book is just so darn universally appealing. I bought three to give for Christmas gifts.

There is nothing not to like about this book....great stor
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food
Yes, it's a cookbook - in that it contains recipes - but it holds so much more as well. Nigella's philosophy on not just cooking but eating really resonated with me on a lot of levels and as a result, this book sits not with the other cookbooks in the kitchen but on my "pull down, thumb through and often re-read" shelf in easy reach of comfy chairs. The tone is informative and conversational - it's like having one of your best friends over for a putter in the kitchen just to see what you can com ...more
Dec 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Anyone who watches "Nigella Feasts" already knows how beautifully and sensuously Nigella Lawson communicates about food. If you love to read cook books (and I do), you'll go crazy for this book. It is the reason you love to read cook books in the first place. It fills you up, just in the reading. If you think it's weird to like to read cook books, but you love food, you'll still love this book because it's mostly writing about delicious food--while there are a lot of recipes, I suppose you could ...more
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I come back to this book time and time again.

I love the writing - it's more than a cookery book, it tells a story - where the recipes came from, what they make her feel and when she makes them.

From a cooking perspective, if you like fool proof instructions to follow, without any deviation, then this isnt the best - it can vary a little so you have to 'feel' it more, but then again that is what cooking is about. Feeling it - it isnt a mathematical algorithm that you plug in to get a result!.

Nick Healey
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I may be biased as I am completely obsessed with Nigella Lawson, this book is utterly divine! I can't say I have cooked many of the recipes, because I feel that is not what this book is about. The title says it all, 'How to Eat'. Nigella is spreading her love of food and cooking to all with her beautifully written thoughts.
I read this years ago, and it is something I come back to time and again! I love what she has to say and I have found a lot of use from this book.
An absolute must rea
Mar 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, europe
I want to call this book Why To Eat. The best parts of it are Lawson's heartfelt enthusiasms about cooking as education and a means of restoration of family bonhomie.

She is very opinionated about food. I don't always agree with her on matters of taste but I enjoy hearing what she has to say. The recipes? Again, not always to my taste. She states in the beginning that many of the recipes are relatively easy, but there are quite a few time-sinks in these pages. That's not my personal bag as a coo
Forest Tong
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adore Nigella Lawson's cooking philosophy and writing tone; it shines with down-to-earth practicality and love of food that is just good. Whether sophisticated or not, food has to appeal to some primitive part of ourselves, and no amount of added pretentiousness can create that special feeling.

The title is somewhat misleading; this book is mainly a collection of recipes, embedded in a lot of prose about why she likes certain recipes and how she thinks about cooking and eating. The recipes I've
Marie Claire
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fab...The wonderful Nigella writes beautifully. Ideal for those who are already confident in the kitchen and view eating as a sensual pleasure rather than essential. Like Nigel Slater, Nigella gives the reader credit for knowing what they want and this book is more of an informative guide rather than a step-by-step hold your hand type book you might get from Delia. The book itself is actually rather ugly to look at but the words are evocative and mouthwatering. Food writing rather than tradition ...more
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cook-books
Good writing and a good book to read. Some of the recipes don't quite work as they should, and sometimes she uses ingredients that I can't get or are way too expensive.
Some of her recipes I make again and again. The best ones are:
Yorkshire pudding (always rises really well)
Birthday cake (the chocolate one, it's lush)
Gooey chocolate puddings
Moules Mariniere

I also like it for the childrens section with good recipes to make with and for your shildren.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, food
This is an outstanding book. The chapters on cooking for one, and cooking for children are excellent.

My only complaint is that it's hard to get a high-level overview of what is in it. I find myself using it less than my other recipe books simply because I can't remember what she covers, or whether she has a recipe corresponding to the set of ingredients I have in mind.

For basics, such as roast meat and poultry, or sauces, this is a logical place to turn.
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
If you want a cookbook with detailed instructions and loads of pictures, this book is not for you. No pictures, and many recipes assume that you have some cooking basics under your belt. Nevertheless, a worthwhile book with a dreamy, meditative quality. It's a book you sit down and actually read, instead of just thumbing through for a recipe. Nigella is one of the most interesting cookbook authors around.
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookery
i like this style of a cookbook; meant for reading and collecting ideas as much as delivering recipes. Can't be beaten for feeding children and cooking in advance for guests. So many gems i don't know where to start in pinpointing favourites, but i know that just opening the book will immediately reveal a goodie .. today i found bakewell tart with fresh raspberries and beef stew made with thyme and anchovies on the same page. Both recipes i have made often.
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Nigella's style. I have watched her food network show for years and the way she talks about food is so different from other television chefs. Her book is even better. It's more of a conversation...she talks you thru her you the background and the importance of why it's included in the book. I would have to say I haven't made a ton from this book but I love picking it up for inspiration.
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, cookbook
Buku ini menunjukkan kalau Tante Nigella memang seorang yang mencintai makanan dari proses persiapan sampai penyantapan. Bisa gitu ya, ada orang yang menulis tentang makanan sampai menghasilkan buku setebal ini. Di dalamnya memang ada resep, tips masak, tapi juga banyak filosofi hidup dan makanan (ya apa lagi?) yang ditulis tante cantik ini.
Habis baca buku ini rasanya selera makan tambah menggelora hehehe
Mary Karpel-Jergic
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food, recipies
If I could, I'd give this book 6 stars. This was my first Nigella book - and I have bought every one of her books since - but this was/is her best. It's like having a conversation with a lovely friend who is a superb cook. Lots of ideas and tips and - the most important thing - her recipes WORK. Fantastic!
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Nigella Lawson is the daughter of former Conservative cabinet minister Nigel Lawson (now Lord Lawson) and the late Vanessa Salmon, socialite and heir to the Lyons Corner House empire, who died of liver cancer in 1985. Lawson attended Godolphin and Latymer School and Westminster School before graduating from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, with a degree in Medieval and Modern Languages.
Lawson wrote a r
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“Sometimes it's good just to be seduced by the particular cheeses spread out in front of you on a cheese counter.” 17 likes
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