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CookWise: The Hows & Whys of Successful Cooking, The Secrets of Cooking Revealed Hardcover – August 21, 1997
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
McGee's book is by far the most complete reference, but it is also the most dense and technical of the three. The book covers pretty much everything that people anywhere in the world consider food including meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, fruit, herbs, fungi, legumes, tea, coffee, grains, alcohol, sugar, sauces, etc. Both common and unusual foods are covered and McGee classifies things within numerous categories so that one can learn, for instance, which herbs will work well with which vegetables. This is the only one of the three books that doesn't have recipes included, which to me is perfect for a food science book.Read more ›
The primary value of the book is not that it explains mysteries of cooking technique, but that it explains them so well. I just finished a review of a book that attempted to explain the difference between saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated fats, and it made a complete botch of the job. Shirley's explanation is so clear, it embarrasses you into having dozed through that lesson in high school. In fact, Shirley's book gives the clearest possible argument I have seen in a long time for justifying subjects like physics and chemistry in High School for people who plan to go into law or computer sciences or hair dressing. Everyone must eat. Therefore, everyone must either cook or rely on someone to cook for them. And, no sass about a raw cuisine either, because understanding what the absence of heat does to foods is as important as the application of heat.
My first very pleasant surprise when I started this book is that the first two chapters deal with baking subjects rather than savory cooking. And, I have read many an essay in the beginning of books on baking, and not a single one of them explains the mysteries of wheat flour, yeast, gluten, and bread making quite as well as Shirley's first chapter.Read more ›
This should be regarded as a textbook, not a recipe book for entertaining. I read it slowly, applied her wisdom -tried to challenge it, and by the time I finished the book, I feel as if I finished my first year at the Cullinary Institute. If you care about what you cook, if you enjoy puttering in the kitchen, this book is the key to success.
Example 2: a famous cook used two boxes of light brown sugar - same brand. One carmelized, the other flunked. They called Shirley in a panic. It took her a while to realize that at that time, the FDA did not reguire brown sugar to be labeled cane or beet based. Cane carmelizes, beet does not. Now, don't we need that information BEFORE we try to impress our closest friends - or the boss - with an elegant creme brulee! You'll appreciate what you learn here, but don't expect an easy read. My copy is already dog-earred; I can't possibly remember it all, and so much is vital to success.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the most interesting book about the subject of the chemistry of cooking..Things I never knew, reasons for all those directions that I have ignored for years!! YES!!Published 1 month ago by NancyJ.
One of the best cookbooks out there! The explanations are great and help you understand the science behind what makes recipes work or not. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Revital R.
I've been cooking for years and usually fall back to a cookbook from my grandma (published in the 40's), since most new cookbooks I've come across tell you to add a can of this to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Sue M.
Amazing how much I have used this book since I purchased it. Fun to read the why & therefore of cookingPublished 5 months ago by Linda C.Kolstad
This is a fantastic book if you are looking to find out the "whys" of cooking.Published 7 months ago by KMB
I purchased this book many years ago after seeing Ms. Corriher on a cooking show. Not only does she tell you how to cook, she tells you why things turn out the way they do. Read morePublished 8 months ago by ChristieLee