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What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel: Further Adventures in Kitchen Science (v. 2) Hardcover – April 17, 2005
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Infectious, informative, and even surprisingly useful. -- Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt and Cod
Teaches cooks about chemistry, and chemists about food. If you love cooking, chemistry, and puns, this is for you! -- Charles P. Casey, 2004 president of the American Chemical Society and professor of chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Who else can explain the science of braising or the mechanics of heat transfer and still make you chuckle?" -- Jack Bishop, Executive Editor, Cook's Illustrated
Wolke's explanations are so well-written that they read like a witty novel, except it is all true. -- Elinor Klivans author of Big Fat Cookies and Cupcakes!
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Top Customer Reviews
Why does iced tea turn cloudy? Will coffee stay hotter if I put the cream in right away or only when I'm ready to drink it? Why are there sulfites in wine? How can I get a red wine stain out of a tablecloth? Why do onions really make me cry? Why are "sweet" onions sweet? When an banana ripes and gets sweeter, does it contain more calories? What is a free radical? What makes mashed potatoes gluey? How can I best match a pasta shape with a sauce? Does marinating work? (suprising!) What's the difference between browning and caramelizing? Why do we cook with wine?
And so on. If you like cooking and like knowing more about what's going on inside the pan and aren't afraid of a few polysyllabic words (mmmm, alpha-galactosidase... don't worry, they are defined in context) then grab this book. I couldn't put it down!
"This book of what science can tell us about working with food. It is one answer to my wish that every TV chef who is attempting to teach cooking to us foodies take a two semester course in chemistry. The book is not a rigorous approach to the chemistry of sugars, salt, fats, chemical leavenings, heat, acids, bases, and the like. Rather, it is a collection of enhanced answers to questions posed to the author in a regular newspaper column. This makes the book more interesting to read, if a little less available as a resource to applying its teachings to new situations."
This statement is equally true of the second volume. And, I must believe Professor Wolke has read this comment in my review or elsewhere. In his introduction he recognizes that his little columns are all answers to specific questions; however, science, by its nature, is `all tied together' in theories which enable its predictive and explanatory powers. Thus, Wolke says that in order to explain the answer to two related questions, we may find him repeating himself now and then, as he does over and over when he invokes how proteins denature by unwinding themselves and wrapping themselves into tight knots, leading to, for example, cooked eggs or tough cooked meat. I have absolutely no problem with that within the context of his format of question and answer.
On the other hand, this format does not lend itself to be used as a source for looking up specific answers to questions that were not asked by the people writing into Dr. Wolke at the Washington Post.Read more ›
Yes, there is some useful information in the book. But it's not organized very well, so it's hard to find information about something specific. It's also not a comprehensive guide like "On Food and Cooking", it's just bits and pieces of trivia thrown together mostly haphazardly. The book is organized into sections, but the sections don't make it as easy to find specific information as they should.
I found this book to be relatively entertaining, but it wasn't what I hoped it would be at all. Buy this for purely entertainment value, but don't look at it as any type of culinary reference. You will learn some stuff, but probably not as much practical information as you would like.
I have both volumes of this set, and they are both similar in entertainment value versus usefulness.
I expected the verbose writing and lame humor of a scientist and got it in spades, so read this book for the insights and nothing else. As the inner flap promises, this book will make you a better shopper and eater. More valuable yet is the level of nuance and complexity Wolke brings to readers in a relatively digestable way. I like how Wolke dissects a lot of faddish and inaccurate thinking.
A very satisfying read. I highly recommend it to those curious about the things they eat.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book describing the science of cooking. If you every wondered why thing are done in a certain order, or what makes good vs great food, you'll enjoyPublished 1 day ago by Fred Bartholomew
Great Book, both funny and informative. What America needs is a great teacher and this guy is it. ThanksPublished 4 months ago by Matt L.
The book is very entertaining and offers knowledge of the science in all aspects of cooking. I didn't realize Einstein had such a sense of humor.Published 10 months ago by Ronald DuBois
Fascinating follow up to the first version. Just as engaging.Published 15 months ago by F. D. Mahaffey