Originally published in France, This's book documents the sensory phenomena of eating and uses basic physics to put to bed many culinary myths. In each short chapter This presents a piece of debatable conventional wisdom-such as whether it is better to make a stock by placing meat in already boiling water, or water before it is boiled-and gives its history, often quoting famous French chefs, before making scientific pronouncements. In the chapter on al dente pasta, for instance, This discusses pasta-making experiments, the science behind cooking it and whether it is better to use oil or butter to prevent it from sticking. Most of the discussions revolve around common practices and phenomenon-chilling wine, why spices are spicy, how to best cool a hot drink-but more than a few are either irrelevant or Franco-specific (such as the chapters on quenelles and preparing fondue). This's experimentation, however, is not for the mildly curious, but readers unafraid to, say, microwave mayonnaise will find many ideas here.
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A well-known chemist, a popular French television personality, a best-selling cookbook author, the first person to hold a doctorate in molecular gastronomy, and, coincidentally, a former editor at Pour la Science, the French edition of Scientific American. All these appellation come together in Hervé This, a scholar-gastronome who now has his first book available in English. One of the founders of molecular gastronomy, which brings the instruments and experimental techniques of the lab into the kitchen, the author blends practical tips and provocative suggestions with serious discussionsabout how the brain perceives tastes, for example, and how chewing affects food.
Editors of Scientific AmericanSee all Editorial Reviews
For the casual or unprofessional reader a title like Molucular Gastronomy has the allure of eating a bowl of stewed prunes. Read morePublished 5 days ago by P. Mulloy
Very detailed and cross-referenced study of taste and smell.Published 5 months ago by Scott M. Kruse