Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"What the Great Ate: A Curious History of Food and Fame"

Angelina Jolie eats cockroaches and spiders as protein snacks, Elvis Presley never cut up his own food, and Ernest Hemingway once ate a porcupine, according to a new book about the eating habits of the rich and famous.
There are stories of how Hollywood star Gary Cooper scarfed down a whole can of sauerkraut every morning, and Bette Davis was called Spuds because of her love of potatoes.

The authors of a new book, "What the Great Ate: A Curious History of Food and Fame", Matthew Jacob, and his brother Mark, spent two years searching through records to find out what actors, singers, and politicians devoured throughout history.
The book tells us how Napoleon was one of the first people to enjoy banana fritters soaked in rum, while Alexander the Great banned his soldiers from chewing mint leaves in case they became too sensually excited to fight.
The authors did the math, figuring out that Luciano Pavarotti, the late Italian tenor, lost and gained a total of 5,000 pounds during his career.

Matthew Jacob said: "As food obsessed as our culture is, you pick up the typical biography and find very little about the eating habits of a famous person. We knew they were there and wanted to dig."Famous people can be incredibly pedantic about food, even though you would think they have bigger fish to fry."
Kurt Cobain was picky about what he ate, yet, he loved macaroni and cheese, but it always had to be the Kraft brand.

Matthew Jacob recalls 1965 when NASA astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich into space aboard the Gemini 3 flight.
Once in orbit he produced the sandwich and gave it to fellow space voyager Gus Grissom, horrifying technical experts on the ground.
They were afraid the crumbs would mess up delicate instruments and cause a catastrophe.
Grissom said he greatly enjoyed the snack but "after the flight our superiors at NASA let us know in no uncertain terms that corned beef sandwiches were out for future space missions."

Mark Jacob said: "there is a story about Paul Newman, the actor, going on a date with Joanne Woodward and he took his salad into the bathroom to wash off the salad dressing, then he came back and made his own. We all know what happened next."

Elvis Presley wanted all his meals be overcooked. When he said "That's burnt," it was considered a compliment to the chef.

Errol Flynn described eating a crocodile as "delicious, like a young tender lobster or crayfish."

Angelina Jolie's knows all about eating cockroaches: "There's this very pointy bit on their stomach you just can't eat. You have to kind of pop that off." Good to know.

When he was 13 Ernest Hemingway shot a porcupine, as punishment,his father made him cook and eat it.
Boxer Joe Louis drank blood straight from a slaughterhouse in Chicago to toughen himself up.
President George H W Bush banned broccoli from the White House, saying: "I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli."

We would like to add another celebrity, Salma Hayek.
She was on the David Letterman show: