- Paperback: 488 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (October 29, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1491928050
- ISBN-13: 978-1491928059
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 75 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, and Good Food 2nd Edition
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From the Publisher
450 Pages of Answers to 'How?' and 'Why?' to Satisfy the Curious, Smart Geek
If you’re the creative type, you need more than traditional recipes to master the kitchen. Whether you’re a science geek or a food geek, knowing how and why recipes work means you can refine your cooking, debug mistakes, and improvise toward deliciousness.
Understanding the science of cooking will boost your culinary game. With six chapters covering everything from how your sense of smell works to the chemistry of food, you’ll look at cooking in a whole new way!
Over 100 Recipes to Illustrate the Science
From the simple pancake to a crazy 500 pound donut, every recipe uses science to develop great culinary technique. Each recipe gives both American and metric measurements, and because the recipes are grouped by concept, you’ll learn to think about food based on the underlying principles. One chapter covers the key temperatures in cooking so that you notice the patterns as the heat is cranked up. Another section looks at how water and air impact your baking, whether with yeast, egg whites, or baking soda. And a chapter on hardware explores everything from pressure cookers to liquid nitrogen and blow torches.
20+ Interviews with Chefs, Writers, and Researchers
Gain insights into how chefs think in interviews with talented cooks like Jacques Pépin, Bridget Lancaster, and Deborah Madison. Learn how Adam Savage tackles scientific testing and how 'On Food and Cooking' author Harold McGee approaches food mysteries. Geek out with 'Modernist Cuisine' co-author Nathan Myhrvold, molecular gastronomy researcher Hervé This, and knife expert Buck Raper. With 20+ in-depth interviews, there’s a wealth of learning for serious cooks and hungry scientists alike.
Completely Rewritten Second Edition
Same geeky humor; new recipes, scientific details, interviews, and labs. For foodies who love to read, you’ll find new interviews with culinary pros. If you’re into science, you’ll find new sidebars covering everything from the difference between beet and cane sugar to how Sherlock Holmes would tell where his tomato was grown (hint: isotopomers). This new edition also introduces a dozen labs for geeky parents wanting to experiment with their kids. With the entire text updated and revised, there’s lots of new material to delight home cooks and pros alike.
Praise for the first edition:
In his enchanting, funny, and informative book, Cooking for Geeks (O'Reilly), Jeff Potter tells us why things work in the kitchen and why they don't. -NY Daily News
Potter covers an array of topics...while giving readers a refresher in chemistry that is both accessible and (dare I say) fun. -The New Yorker's Book Bench
Clear, fact-packed, and engaging. -The Atlantic
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This is in "etextbook" format; I had never bought a book in this format before. It is basically like PDF format. Each page is a graphic representation of the printed page. The problem is, the original font is of such a size that on devices with screens smaller than the pages of the original book, the font is too small.
On a regular size tablet like an iPad Air the pages are legible but unpleasantly small. I would not want to read for more than a short period on a tablet. On an iPad Mini, forget it. Unusable. I would suggest if you aren't planning to mostly read on a large computer screen, you think twice about getting the Kindle edition.
I can see. Why they chose to go w itch this format; the page layout is completely free form with multiple embedded graphics on many pages, so this is probably the only practical format they could use. However, I think Amazon needs to give more warning at the point of purchase about the drawbacks. For most devices, you are basically getting a book with pages shrunken from the original physical format. (Of course, you can zoom in, but try reading a book in that mode for any length of time.)
This 2nd edition is 80 pages larger than the 1st edition, and includes more recipes and section topics. According to the affiliated website, the book is a complete rewrite: I compared several sections side-by-side, and they each section I compared was indeed rewritten, and facts were updated (e.g. dead websites removed, etc.). In a few cases I didn't think the rewrites were improvements, for example, the 1st edition had a recipe for Lime Marmalade which discussed the uses of two different types of pectin, while the 2nd edition had a more general Citrus Marmalade recipe which didn't have as much pectin specifics.
Also, the 2nd edition only has a very general table of contents on one page at the beginning, while the 1st edition has a more detailed multi-page table of contents, so you get a better idea of what kind of information is in this book. (The beginning of each chapter has the detailed contents for just that chapter). Some chapters have been retitled to change the emphasis and order re-arranged.
There are some funny glitches in the production of the 2nd edition. First of all, I hunted in the book for some sort of preface or introduction to the 2nd edition that explained how this edition differs from the 1st, or what motivated its production, but there was nothing. I had to find this information on the web, which seems odd. (You can google for "cookingforgeeks whats-new" to find the list of new topics, or look at the URL I have provided in the first comment below; I've printed this page off and inserted it into my copy). Secondly, both editions have a list of recipes following the table of contents, but the 2nd edition omits the sections of recipes for sauces, and for drinks, which makes it see like the second edition has fewer recipes than the 1st. These are both odd glitches for a 2nd edition that make it seem like the book was rushed into production and components were carelessly left out.
Still, it is a fascinating book that pulls together some information I already had plus teaches me much more about cooking, and provides a bunch of good projects to try out in the next few weeks. And if you already have the 1st condition but are a fan of this book, you will find more to enjoy in the 2nd edition.
The parents have been astonished with the cooking ability of their children after taking the class. Most of the students never cooked anything before. I think this is because your book helps remove the fear of cooking and frees them to experiment; the very thing that separates good cooks from great cooks! As a teacher I couldn't ask for better content. There are so many interesting and challenging learning opportunities to choose from!