Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef

Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef

4.7 7
by Mark Schatzker
     
 

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The definitive book on steak has never been written-until now

"Of all the meats, only one merits its own structure. There is no such place as a lamb house or a pork house, but even a small town can have a steak house." So begins Mark Schatzker's ultimate carnivorous quest. Fed up with one too many mediocre steaks, the intrepid journalist set out to

Overview

The definitive book on steak has never been written-until now

"Of all the meats, only one merits its own structure. There is no such place as a lamb house or a pork house, but even a small town can have a steak house." So begins Mark Schatzker's ultimate carnivorous quest. Fed up with one too many mediocre steaks, the intrepid journalist set out to track down, define, and eat the perfect specimen. His journey takes him to all the legendary sites of steak excellence-Texas, France, Scotland, Italy, Japan, Argentina, and Idaho's Pahsimeroi Valley-where he discovers the lunatic lengths steak lovers will go to consume the perfect cut. After contemplating the merits of Black Angus, Kobe, Chianina, and the prehistoric aurochs-a breed revived by the Nazis after four hundred years of extinction-Schatzker adopts his own heifer, fattens her on fruit, acorns, and Persian walnuts, and then grapples with ambivalence when this near-pet appears on his plate.

Reminiscent of both Bill Bryson's and Bill Buford's writing, Steak is a warm, humorous, and wide-ranging read that introduces a wonderful new travel and food writer to the common table.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Slate columnist Schatzker's journey through more than 100 pounds of steak begins with a single, fondly remembered bite from his past and takes him, years later, to eight countries on four continents in pursuit of flavorful beef. Chapter by Dionysian chapter he probes the myths and minutiae of tasty beef. Does marbling (the small white dots and curls of fat spread throughout a steak's red flesh) matter more than breed? Is a stressed animal less tasty? Can words accurately describe the flavor of beef? In Texas, Schatzker compares corn-fed to grass-fed rib-eyes; Scotland is mostly about the Angus bulls, while Japan provides the lure of its famed kobe and Wagyu beef. Lessons from each new location build upon those from the last, underscoring his major concern: do modern practices of commercial breeding and production sacrifice quality for quantity? Schatzker writes with a discerning eye, an inquisitive mind, and a comedic sense of timing that keeps both shop talk (reading cow pies), and the esoteric (the mysteries of umami) from numbing readers' minds. On the way to a unifying theory of steak, Schatzker even raises his own cows for slaughter, leading him to the Zen-like revelation that “the secret to great steak is great steak.” No matter. Steak is easily one of the most entertaining and informative noncookbooks about beef. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101190104
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/29/2010
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
645,691
File size:
573 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Mark Schatzker is a columnist for the Globe and Mail and a frequent contributor to Conde Nast Traveler and Slate. He has been a finalist for the James Beard journalism award and lives in Toronto.

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Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Looks at the shadows. "So?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I get in and smile. Crossing my legs. My bare legs peek out from my skirt
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fo u know when the next masquerade is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yush?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells about someones experience going around eating steaks! Dont have any recip. at all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
crazylilcuban More than 1 year ago
Full disclosure: I received an ARC of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program. I absolutely loved this book! Mark Schatzker writes about his quest for the perfect steak, including his trips around the world to Texas, France, Scotland, Italy, Japan, and Argentina and his attempts to raise his own cow for the perfect steak. The book is full of so much interesting information about the history and current state of steak, including a vein that runs throughout the book that covers the grass-fed vs. feedlot argument about beef. Having tried one too many mediocre steaks, the author sets out to find the perfect steak and what goes into creating it, and takes the reader along on a humorous and fascinating ride. The writing is fantastic and will keep you laughing and interested. Having moved to the San Francisco bay area a year ago, I found the book to be especially interesting because so much of the local culture here revolves around food and the search for delicious and healthy alternatives to many of the foods that are currently making Americans fatter and fatter. One of the huge things in this area's culinary scene is grass-fed beef, something I had never really seen or heard much about before moving here. I can definitely say that I find it to be much tastier, and a lot of the information in this book helped me to understand why this is the case, and how my new-found love of grass-fed beef may actually be better for me. I definitely think "Steak" is the perfect companion book to any foodie's collection.