The Man Who Ate Everything review

Hi there! It’s been quite a while since my last post. Sorry for that. I’ve been working on a lot of end of term reassessments at school and haven’t been able to find the time to write; and I also forgot about it, twice. Anyway, I thought I’d try and make a real effort on this one, as it’s late…

This is a copy of a reading response I submitted as part of an English portfolio this year. I had to do about six of them and this is the only one I handed in that got an immediate excellence, which makes me very proud of it as that sort of thing doesn’t happen often – I normally have to rework it a couple of times with my teacher to bring it up to an E. I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments section too!

Also, I’m now going to start writing more book reviews for the blog which I think you’ll like. I’m not sure if a reading response qualifies as one though so I’m adding here my thoughts that – ‘I found “The Man Who Ate Everything” to be just brilliant. Jeffrey Steingarten’s acclaimed first compilation of essays on food most certainly lives up to it’s phenomenal praise and I thoroughly enjoyed it. His writing especially was a pleasure to read (But I wouldn’t expect anything less from the food editor of Vogue). I hope you give it a go as it’s a really cool read. Why don’t you grab a copy from your local bookstore, from the Kindle Store or at your closest library, and maybe throw in a bar of Valrhona, or if in New Zealand, a bar of Whittaker’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Block (which is my favourite chocolate, even though it’s not dark) and settle down to a few good hours of reading.

5 stars out of five. I would also recommend it as a great present for a fellow foodie.

The Man Who Ate Everything

English reading response on “The Man Who Ate Everything”, by Jeffrey Steingarten
Text type – Non-fiction, collection of food essays

For this reading responses I elected to write about the book – “The Man Who Ate Everything”, by Jeffrey Steingarten. It is a compilation of articles and essays about food, and about experimenting with food; how to make it better. One article was entirely devoted to water and about how to make it taste like everyone imagines it should. You know, that pure and delicious ethereal spring water on the crest of an ice capped Swiss mountain. All in all though, a very interesting read.

The thing that stood out to me about Steingarten while reading his book was his mildly obsessive compulsion to better the taste of his food. How he went about researching it and so on. He went to extraordinary lengths to achieve culinary perfection, or very near to it which I thought was really cool. A good example of this would be the article where he travelled through a whole lot of series of small brasseries in the French countryside until he found the perfect sauerkraut. This showing how passionate he is about his work. Or how he went all around Sicily to find the world’s best and most traditional sorbet; making me admire and truly appreciate how much work/effort Jeffrey put into his research and how devoted he is to food, (He is the food editor at Vogue after all) and it expresses his passion for it.

I think that this links to the modern world in a whole lot of ways. There are more and more people today who are passionate about food and who are intent on discovering the true nature of a dish, who are insistent on finding out more, how to make things better, how to add more dimensions to a dish. I was watching a program on Food TV where one French chef was so inexorably dedicated to the art of salads and who went on and on about how wonderful they were that he wrote a book with hundreds of different recipes for them. Every ingredient for every recipe thoroughly analysed and thought out in the most thought-provoking and inexplicably delicious way for the palate’s enjoyment.

The world needs more people like them and like Jeffrey. Can you imagine a world where food was boring, or where the true and original recipes were lost forever? It would be like Beethoven’s Ode to Joy being changed again and again over the years until nobody knew the right notes and where it sounded awful. Jeffrey gets the true recipes and improves them, him and other cooks in the world, but still stays true to the original. Very noble work in my view.


By the way… I would like to thank you very much for taking the time to read my blog. While writing it I never forget how invaluable my readership is and how lucky I am to have any followers at all – right now it’s floating around 20 or so. It’s not a huge number. But considering how many thousands of blogs and internet publications there are out there on the world wide web, I am very glad and consider myself very fortunate that my posts are seen by people other than myself and that I’m not just wasting effort. I hope that you noticed my post was late too.

Thank you.

P.S. If you think there is anything I could improve or add to my blog then why don’t you give me feedback on it. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and if I implement them then they may increase my audience, which would be awesome! And if you feel like it, why don’t you pass this on?

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