Steingarten is a man who loves food, loves to research food, eat food and cook food. Luckily for him, he is also the food editor of Vogue magazine where he can indulge his food fetishes lavishly and often. This book is a collection of essays about all sorts of food. Foods he has tried to prepare, foods he has tried to eat, food myths he has tried to debunk, food dentiations he has gone to.
The introduction to this book is Steingarten explaining the irrationality of what he calls “food phobias” by which he means the extreme like or dislike of particular foods or types of foods [note to Steingarten, get a dictionary]. After spending a lot of time huffing and puffing about picky eaters, vegetarians and health food eaters, he then goes on to write the rest of the book which can be called nothing else if not partial.
It would be horribly annoying if it weren’t, mostly, so amusing. The parts I like less were when Steingarten veered off into the areas of health and gastronomy. You see, Steingarten is a big fat man who does not like being told that certain food are bad for him. As a result, he spends inordinate amounts of time disproving, or attempting to disprove many food-based health tips such as salt being bad for your blood pressure, or fat being bad for your heart. Steingarten is not only no doctor, he is also obviously looking for an excuse to load up with more butter, salt, lard and horse fat [you heard me] so while I enjoyed his cooking tips, travel journals and general food enthusiasm, I think I’ll leave the medical science to someone else.