How to Eat by Nigella Lawson


I know how to eat, thank you. 

The book in one sentence: An ode to good, easy food and a recipe book rolled into one.

My thoughts 

You probably know I am a hard and fast Jamie Oliver Fan. I've watched Nigella on TV but have heard that her books are pretty good, so I decided to give her a whirl through How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food.

This book is so highly recommended that I was sort of expecting not to be blown away with it. I'm not sure I'm going to be a Nigella fan any time soon. I thought her writing would be better than her TV show because she started out as a writer. But while her TV shows overtly capitalize on her as eye candy, and rightly so, she has failed to impress me as she seems rather averse to actually doing any dirty work, like chopping her herbs. And long nails and the kitchen are obvious no-nos, to me at least. It's like watching her TV shows. She looks pretty, she chats but she makes me sleepy, with her overly flowery and strangely weirded descriptions of food. 

Her book sounds exactly as she sounds on TV minus the eye candy. The book is underwhelming. While I envy her ability to talk about food from the point of view of an "eater," agree wholeheartedly that cooking shouldn't become drudgery, and her being able to pull together recipes in a more popular categorization ... I got tired of this chunkster and decided to just scan it. I noticed a few interesting recipes and read a few snippets of sound eating advice, so maybe I'll give Nigella another chance.

Oh, if this is a recipe book, where are the pictures? I need them, I need them, I need them ... if for the simple reason that I like to know what I'm going to be preparing and eating is going to look like.

First line: The Great Culinary Renaissance we have heard so much about has done many things-given us extra virgin olive oil, better restaurants, and gastroporn-but it hasn't taught us to cook.

Verdict: Flowery prose but sensible food and cooking advice for the non-cook ... but no pretty pictures, sorry!

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall