STEAK. Nothing that humans have ever put into their mouths in the name of nourishment has been the subject of such devotion, such flights of gastronomic ecstasy, or such grave connoisseurship as this most adored of meats. Now Mark Schatzker, an award-winning food and travel writer, takes readers on an odyssey to four continents, across thousands of miles, and through hundreds of cuts of steak, prepared in dozens of ways, all in a quest for the perfect piece. Steak is an impassioned, funny, and enlightening look at the fate of this beloved food.
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Mark Schatzker’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Best American Travel Writing. He is a frequent contributor to The Dr. Oz Show. His books include The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor and Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef. He lives in Toronto with his family.From 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)
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