A kitchen classic for over 35 years, and hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn to for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.
For its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment.
On Food and Cooking pioneered the translation of technical food science into cook-friendly kitchen science and helped birth the inventive culinary movement known as "molecular gastronomy." Though other books have been written about kitchen science, On Food and Cooking remains unmatched in the accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness of its explanations, and the intriguing way in which it blends science with the historical evolution of foods and cooking techniques.
Among the major themes addressed throughout the new edition are:
· Traditional and modern methods of food production and their influences on food quality
· The great diversity of methods by which people in different places and times have prepared the same ingredients
· Tips for selecting the best ingredients and preparing them successfully
· The particular substances that give foods their flavors, and that give us pleasure
· Our evolving knowledge of the health benefits and risks of foods
On Food and Cooking is an invaluable and monumental compendium of basic information about ingredients, cooking methods, and the pleasures of eating. It will delight and fascinate anyone who has ever cooked, savored, or wondered about food.
Before antioxidants, extra-virgin olive oil and supermarket sushi commanded public obsession, the first edition of this book swept readers and cooks into the everyday magic of the kitchen: it became an overnight classic. Now, 20 years later, McGee has taken his slightly outdated volume and turned it into a stunning masterpiece that combines science, linguistics, history, poetry and, of course, gastronomy. He dances from the spicy flavor of Hawaiian seaweed to the scientific method of creating no-stir peanut butter, quoting Chinese poet Shu Xi and biblical proverbs along the way. McGee's conversational style rich with exclamation points and everyday examples allows him to explain complex chemical reactions, like caramelization, without dumbing them down. His book will also be hailed as groundbreaking in its breakdown of taste and flavor. Though several cookbooks have begun to answer the questions of why certain foods go well together, McGee draws on recent agricultural research, neuroscience reviews and chemical publications to chart the different flavor chemicals in herbs and spices, fruits and vegetables. Odd synergies appear, like the creation of fruity esters in dry-cured ham the same that occur naturally in melons! McGee also corrects the European bias of the first edition, moving beyond the Mediterranean to discuss the foods of Asia and Mexico. Almost every single page of this edition has been rewritten, but the book retains the same light touch as the original. McGee has successfully revised the bible of food science and produced a fascinating, charming text.
On food and cooking
A must have for any chef or serious cook. It is the best of its kind.
Amazing content, bad formatting
The content of this book is amazing. It has an incredible depth of information about pretty much everything related to food. The eBook version is seriously lacking though. I noticed a few chopped up chapters, broken tables and other formatting issues. This breaks the flow of actually trying to read the book.
Amazing depth of food knowledge
If you are serious about cooking, you probably have already read this book, it is a little dry, but contains a wealth of food data that will make you seem like a total food nerd.