I committed myself to reading 4 chunky books this year (chunky being defined as at least 450 pages) by signing up for the Chunkster Challenge, hosted by Dana.
My first chunky is The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten. You know Jeffrey, the witty cynical judge on Iron Chef America? The guy you want to hate, but can't, because he's so articulate, and usually right?
The book, published in 1997, is as well-written as I had expected. His stories of eating his way through Kyoto, personally taste-testing 35 different ketchups, judging a barbecue contest in Memphis, and surviving various fad diets were entertaining and hunger-inducing. This man is passionate about food, and lets you know it on every page.
There are only 2 things I found amiss -
1. Since the book is over 10 years old, it's slightly outdated. Not Steingarten's fault, but mine for not reading it sooner.
2. In his discourse on achieving the perfect mashed potatoes, he advises "If the cookbook specifies neither potato type nor total weight, discard it immediately." However, later on in the book, in his recipe for choucroute garnie à l'Alsacienne, he writes "peel 4 medium potatoes". Now, I'm sure that his previous admonition applied only to mashed potatoes. But it was funny.
If you love food (which you most likely do, if you're visiting my blog), read this book.