One of my biggest complaints about Smith as an institution is that, because of the way our dining system is currently structured, I almost always end up eating lunch by myself. There are so many dining halls that its rare to run in to somebody you know, and my friends' schedules are so busy we almost never manage to coordinate ahead of time (that, or I smell, which is another possibility). Luckily, a lovely boy bought me Jeffrey Steingarten's The Man Who Ate Everything. And so, I've been eating my lunches with Jeffrey recently, and enjoying it immensely.
In case you don't know (but, really, how could you not?), Jeffrey Steingarten is Vogue's food writer, as well as a fantastically cynical and snide judge on Iron Chef America. He is a fantastic writer, as demonstrated in this book, which is a collection of essays each addressing a certain food, technique, or quest. Steingarten's "research" takes him all over the world, from the gelato shops in Italy to the seafood on a remote island off the coast of Oregon. He's funny, detailed, and extremely knowledgeable. He's not as erudite as one might expect, and his candor is refreshing. I particularly enjoyed his chapter on back-of-the-box recipes-- who knew that Jeffrey Steingarten eats brownies from a mix??
This is a great book- its light reading, and it goes well with food. Highly recommended.