In Eat Up! Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want, Ruby Tandoh takes us on a culinary journey to celebrate the fun and pleasure of food.
by Julia Migné
From being born with a silver spoon in your mouth to having to bring home the bacon, food often finds its way in our idioms and everyday chit-chat proving how essential it is to our lives. More than just a basic necessity, food can be reinvented almost infinitely and does wonders in uniting people.
“When our souls are happy, they talk about food.” – Charles Simic
Unfortunately, food can also be a source of major argument. From the bizarre Liquid Diet to the all-carb, it seems that food as a strong potential to divide people across the globe.
Eating fast food if you are on the curvy side can trigger some judgy glances while at the same time there are auto-proclaimed food experts appearing from all corners, praising clean eating and various weird diets.
British baker and columnist, Ruby Tandoh, is well aware of how powerful food can be in our everyday life. Known for her participation in the popular TV show the Great British Bake Off, she is now on a mission to make people feel good about food.
In her book Eat Up! Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want, she takes her readers on a culinary journey to celebrate the fun and pleasure of food. Far from being a typical cookbook, Eat Up is more of a manifesto, a powerful testament to the central role that food plays in our lives.
Ruby explores the tricky relationship we have developed with food by mixing history, science, pop culture with a sprinkle of autobiographic testaments. The book does also contain quirky mouth-watering recipes such as the three-day whisky gingerbread loaf cake or I Hate My Husband Pie.
Ruby also explores different facets of our relationship with food and does not shy away from difficult topics such as mental health and eating disorders. Having battled herself with the issue, she is arming her readers against the madness of fad diets, food crazes and bad science.
Eat Up! is just like curling under a thick blanket on a cold winter night. It will lift your spirit and re-convince you if needed that food is your greatest ally and not an enemy to constantly battle.
Ruby’s book is a celebration of the diversity of diet and cravings that people decide to embrace. Ulltimately, the book encourages everyone to have a rewarding relationship with food. Incredibly honest, Eat Up! feels like a breath of fresh air twisting the current narrative on clean eating and strict diet restriction.
She writes: “I want you to eat the whole picture because when you do that, food tastes better than ever. I want you to love yourself enough not to feed yourself dry sandwiches for dinner, or skip eating altogether. The way you feel about food sits hand in hand with the way you feel about yourself, and if you eat happily and wholeheartedly, food will make you strong.”
From Beyonce’s Lemonade to Andy Warhol’s Campbell soup can prints, get ready to feel a “delicious taste of pop genius” and be prepared to have your appetite opened and your taste buds tickled. If you’re in need to reconcile with food, then this book might just be the cure you need.
Julia Migné is a multimedia journalist and wildlife photographer specialising in environmental issues and odd hobbies. She has written for Africa Geographic and BBC Wildlife among others. An endless traveller, she swears that she would visit one country for each letter of the alphabet.