Book: The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
Start Date: 12/16/07
I don’t remember who suggested I read The Man Who Ate Everything, but whoever it was, I owe him/her a huge thank you. This book is “part cookbook [and] part travelogue.” Because it’s me, the cookbook part is being merely skimmed. Though I may watch the Food Network obsessively, actually reading recipes doesn’t do anything for me.
But the book, trust me on this, is funny. So funny, in fact, that it has me laughing out loud. Which has caused more than one or two people to stare at me while I eat my lunch at various places throughout Santa Monica, but hey, like I’m going to let a little staring stop me from enjoying the book.
Jeffrey Steingarten, who sometimes serves as a judge on Iron Chef America, reaches such levels of anal retentiveness in his attempts at figuring out what makes certain foods tick that it just warms my heart. If I weren’t totally lazy and had a ton of money, I could see myself conducting similar experiments. Although, maybe I don’t quite have the patience to stay up till 2 am watching dough rise.
I have no idea how the man becomes food critic for Vogue given that he was a lawyer at the time, but that explains the extreme attention to detail! I love it.
I’m enjoying the book so much that I don’t even mind him calling me a heathen. “God tells us in the Book of Genesis ... to eat everything under the sun. Those who ignore his instructions are no better than godless heathens.” I won’t hold that against him though—on account of how that’s actually true. I’m not a very adventurous eater as any one of my friends will grumpily tell you. If you’re up for trying that new Indian restaurant that’s getting rave reviews or the funky place that’s doing wonders with Korean and French food*, uhm, yeah, no, but I’ll catch you on the next one, okay? Thanks!
To properly do his work, Steingarten implements a six-step process to get rid of his various food phobias. After months of subjecting himself to foods he cannot stand, he declares himself cured and a perfect omnivore. That’s all well and good and admirable, I think but why exactly should I do the same, as he suggests?
His argument is that by doing so, you open yourself up to all sorts of great food.
Okay. I guess I can see that, but still, my response to that is, “If I don’t know what I’m missing, am I really missing out on anything?”
It’s gonna take a lot more than a really funny book to get me to like kimchi.
Heathen comment aside, if you get a chance to pick up the book, I highly recommend it.
*Trust me. I’m sure there’s such a place. Food people are weird.
it was me and you are welcome! I’m trying now to get some people at work to read it but they can’t seem to get that it’s not a food book that’s good, but a good book that happens to be about food. their loss…
I have his second book waiting in the wings too. Can’t wait to get to it. Thank you!
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