Winner Announced With Review. What She Ate

six women and what they ate

What She Ate

“A beloved culinary historian’s short take on six famous women through the lens of food.”

Okay, you foodies, and you know who you are, this book is for you. But it’s also for anyone interested in the lives of famous women. After all,  food is personal, so you will learn a lot about someone by paying attention to how they relate to food.

The six women are: Dorothy Wordsworth; Rosa Lewis; Eleanor Roosevelt; Eva Braun; Barbara Pym; and Helen Gurley Brown.  Most of you know of Helen Gurley Brown, Eva Braun, and Eleanor Roosevelt.  And this book will catch you up on the women you are least familiar with.

I was immediately intrigued to find Eva Braun on this list.  Her chapter is a bit chilling and certainly enlightening. I was not surprised to find champagne to be one of her favorite foods.

Eleanor Roosevelt is not known for her culinary acumen.  And it sure shows in this book. Ugh. Laura Shapiro  discovered that Eleanor had a hidden history of enthusiastic eating.  And she loved to bake, even though she was a failure at it.  Everyone in Washington knew enough to eat before you go when invited to the White House for a meal.

But my favorite chapter was on Helen Gurley Brown. She and her husband never even dined together.  Her big splurge was eating diet jello.  She did love brownies and sweets, but rarely ate them. No wonder she stayed so painfully thin.

Barbara Pym was a famous English novelist who loved English food. This long before Jamie Oliver came along.


Laura Shapiro has written on every food topic from champagne to Jell-O for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, Gourmet, and many other publications. She is the author of three classic books of culinary history.  Her awards include a James Beard Journalism Award and one from the National Women’s Political Caucus.

My finished hardcover was provided by Viking Publishers, a division of PenuinRandomHouse in exchange for an honest review and a giveaway.  Great book!

And the winner is: Pat Olsen. Congratulations Pat!  And thanks to those of you who took the time to enter the giveaway.





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