This fully illustrated book, which includes photographs of food taken through an electron microscope, is a blend of culinary lore and scientific explanation that examines the history of food, its make-up and its behaviour when it is prepared and cooked. Containing historical and literary anecdotes, it covers all the major food categories, from ...Read MoreThis fully illustrated book, which includes photographs of food taken through an electron microscope, is a blend of culinary lore and scientific explanation that examines the history of food, its make-up and its behaviour when it is prepared and cooked. Containing historical and literary anecdotes, it covers all the major food categories, from meat and potatoes to sauce bernaise and champagne. Simple scientific explanations throw light on such mysteries as how to tell stale eggs from fresh, whether searing really seals in flavour and what happens when a cook kneads dough. A chapter on nutrition exposes the fallacies behind food fads, past and present. There is also a section on additives and one on the sensations of taste and smell.Read Less
This is a wonderful book but it took weeks to arrive and, when it did, the base of the spine was broken. It won't survive much more than one read which is a pity as it is a very valuable reference book which I would have returned to many times. I'll be forced to search out another copy. I suspect this book has been kept in poor conditions.
Mar 12, 2009
This is a very interesting book.
Many chemistry explained. In few moments are a bit arid.
Feb 14, 2008
I have the first edition which I bought new when it came out and just love it. I looked for copies for my son and for my friend. They love to cook and are curious about the 'how' and 'why' of it. I found the hard cover on Alibris for half the amount my other favorite local retailer was selling it. It's full of interesting info lilke why a cut apple turns brown, why egg whites won't whip in a plastic bowl, the origin of foods. What is a 'caper' anyway? The answers are all there.
Jan 9, 2008
Help in the Kitchen
This is one of those books that cooks, not matter how experienced, really need to have on the shelf.
The science of cooking is something many of us are just not taught in school or by our cooking teachers (parents included!) and someone like Mr McGee makes it easy to learn the basics that will transform anyone into a much better cook, even if its just cooking for one!
Publishers Weekly, 2004-11-22 Before antioxidants, extra-virgin olive oil and supermarket sushi commanded public obsession, the first edition of this book swept readers and cooks into the everyday magic of the kitchen: it became an overnight classic. Now, 20 years later, McGee has taken his slightly outdated volume and turned it into a stunning masterpiece that combines science, linguistics, history, poetry and, of course, gastronomy. He dances from the spicy flavor of Hawaiian seaweed to the scientific method of creating no-stir peanut butter, quoting Chinese poet Shu Xi and biblical proverbs along the way. McGee's conversational style-rich with exclamation points and everyday examples-allows him to explain complex chemical reactions, like caramelization, without dumbing them down. His book will also be hailed as groundbreaking in its breakdown of taste and flavor. Though several cookbooks have begun to answer the questions of why certain foods go well together, McGee draws on recent agricultural research, neuroscience reviews and chemical publications to chart the different flavor chemicals in herbs and spices, fruits and vegetables. Odd synergies appear, like the creation of fruity esters in dry-cured ham-the same that occur naturally in melons! McGee also corrects the European bias of the first edition, moving beyond the Mediterranean to discuss the foods of Asia and Mexico. Almost every single page of this edition has been rewritten, but the book retains the same light touch as the original. McGee has successfully revised the bible of food science-and produced a fascinating, charming text. (Nov. 23) Forecast: With a bright red cover and rave blurbs from chefs like Jacques P?pin, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay and Thomas Keller, this book is sure to draw a lot of attention during the holiday season. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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