- 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 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,689 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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100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking
If you want to make an authentic tagine, bake mouth-watering cakes, or vicariously experience the life of a chef, you’ll find the book for it on this list.
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.)
Like the Rombauers' "Joy of Cooking," Jeff covers every aspect of loving the kitchen and the dining table -- presenting the food, enjoying the guests, calibrating the oven, choosing and storing the ingredients, and identifying your cooking style (I don't think that "Joy of Cooking" covers this last topic). The only topic I haven't found yet is washing the dishes, and that may be only because I haven't gotten all of the way through this new version of the book.
Jeff's recipe for French onion soup (pp. 38 - 39 )exemplifies his approach. Tears may be almost inevitable when cutting the number of onions needed for a satisfying pot of this classic, but Jeff devotes half a page to the science of why this happens and ways to avoid the tears. He describes his new technique for microwaving the onions that is simpler, and reduces the chances of burning them He suggests seasonings that enrich the flavors, and ways to finish the soup with a flourish. I haven't eaten French onion soup in many years, but I suddenly have a yearning for it, especially because Jeff's recipe is vegetarian.
One reason to feel immensely grateful that this book exists is Jeff's deep consideration for both the realities of tight time frames, and the difficulties of obtaining specific ingredients. He lets his readers know when they can take shortcuts, and when not because they would be asking for disaster. He suggests substitutes for ingredients, and puts his science hat on to explain why they work. I have given several copies of the first edition of "Cooking for Geeks" as gifts, and have pre-ordered the first couple copies of this second edition for holiday gifts this year.