Read What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained by Robert L. Wolke Marlene Parrish Online


Do you wish you understood the science of foods, but don't want to plow through dry technical books? What Einstein Told His Cook is like having a scientist at your side to answer your questions in plain, nontechnical terms. Chemistry professor and syndicated Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides over 100 reliable and witty explanations, while debunking miDo you wish you understood the science of foods, but don't want to plow through dry technical books? What Einstein Told His Cook is like having a scientist at your side to answer your questions in plain, nontechnical terms. Chemistry professor and syndicated Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides over 100 reliable and witty explanations, while debunking misconceptions and helping you to see through confusing advertising and labeling....

Title : What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780393011838
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained Reviews

  • Petra X
    2019-03-22 19:22

    Confession: this was a free dl and I only clicked on it because I misread it as "What Einstein told his Cock".It's quite interesting though. I now know why tea made from microwaved water doesn't taste as good as water boiled in a kettle. It has quite a bit to do with nucleation sites. I understand what a nucleation site does (it gets molecules excited and they jump around when hot and boil over or am I still thinking of cocks here?) but I don't understand how they suddenly arise when they weren't there before.Another really interesting and useful piece of information was how to get more juice from a lemon. Do you know Led Zeppelin's 'The Lemon Song', where Robert Plant sings, "Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg." That's a lot of juice! And the book tells you how to get much more juice than just an ordinary squeeze would do.There are myths about rolling the lemon around first or heating it up (in a microwave) but apparently neither of these will increase the juice yield at all. What will increase it is doing both. Roll it around first and then microwave it and it will increase the juice yield by 23% if you hand-squeeze it. Mechanical squeezing won't be affected though. (Robert Plant only liked hand-squeezing I think). Interesting as the book was, I think a book about Einstein having a chat with his private parts might have been even more so.

  • Carol.
    2019-03-21 20:09

    Q: What book do you remember from your childhood as irritating?When I was somewhere around seven years old, I was given Charlie Brown's Super Book of Questions and Answers about All Kinds of Animals ... from Snails to People!: Based on the Charles M. Schulz Characters.Although I’ve never been a question-and-answer type of reader (the questions asked never seemed to be the ones I wanted to know more about), I eventually came to enjoy the book for its information bites and colorful pictures of favorite comic friends. What Einstein Told His Cook follows the question and answer format, and once again, many of the questions aren’t ones I ask, in or out of the kitchen.Q: What kinds of questions does the author answer?Frequently, very basic ones (“What does the ‘prime’ really mean in ‘prime rib’?). Or very obscure ones (“Why does caviar have to be served with a special, fancy spoon?”). Sometimes even stupid ones (“I like my steaks and roast beef rare. But often there’ll be someone at the table who makes a nasty crack about my eating ‘bloody’ meat. What can I say in my defense?“) Buried in the last few chapters of the book are actually, rather interesting ones that no one else has ever explained to me (“why does my tea made from water boiled in the microwave leave more sediment?”)Q: You mean the whole book is like ‘Dear Abby’ for people unfamiliar with cooking?Yes. It really is all questions, with generally page-long answers. He throws in recipes that vaguely relate to the the questions for added interest. Chapters are divided into ‘Sweet Talk,’ ‘The Salt of the Earth,’ ‘The Fat of the Land,’ ‘Chemicals in the Kitchen,’ ‘Turf and Surf,’ ‘Fire and Ice,’ ‘Liquid Refreshment,’ ‘Those Mysterious Microwaves,’ and ‘Tools and Technology.’ You can tell by the titles that Wolke places more emphasis on attempting to be funny with his language over providing clear information. Unfortunately, the same thing happens with his answers.Q: So why the ‘it was okay’ rating?One problem I had is that Wolke pretends he is simplifying information by putting his ‘techspeak’ in parenthesis. However, he usually doesn’t elaborate or contextualize it, so it is actually more confusing. As a lifelong baker and someone with two years of college chemistry (including a year of organic, thank you very much), I don’t think I should have to furrow my brow at his ‘techspeak.’ An example of the lack of clarity: “The most common use for cream of tartar in the kitchen is for stabilizing beaten egg whites. It accomplishes this trick because it is somewhat acidic, even though it is a salt. (Techspeak: It lowers the pH of the mixture.)”You’ll note that in his original explanation, he didn’t state why an acid would stabilize the egg whites. All his ‘techspeak’ did was explain what an ‘acid’ was (after first confusing the reader about what a ‘salt’ is). And, as a petty aside, I’ll note it isn’t really ‘techspeak.’ It’s science-speak. Save the ‘techspeak’ for the section on microwaves.Q: C’mon, it wasn’t that bad, was it?At times it was funny. For instance, in answering the question “After I roast a chicken, there are all these ooky drippings in the pan. Can I use them for anything?” he begins his answer with: “No. If you have to ask, you don’t deserve them. Pour off the fat, scrape the rest of the ‘ook’ into a jar, and ship it to me by overnight express.“I’ll note he does do a good job with the physics part of cooking questions, particularly microwaves.I did learn some things:1. The connection between sulfites and oxidation (sulfites are used in preserving foods–particularly ‘raw’ type foods like dried apples, bear, wine, baked goods, processed seafood, vinegar and so forth) and a reminder they can trigger asthma symptoms as well as headaches and allergic reactions. Thus sulfites require a FDA label.2. Pasteurization and ultra pasteurization (pasteurization is old-school heat and hold at 150 degrees, but fails to kill off Lactobacillus and Streptococcus, so you still need to refrigerate the milk. Ultra does a process of flash heating and then rapid chilling, and if aseptically packaged, could last up to a year—take note, doomsday preppers).3. Why some recipes will call for both baking soda and baking powder (baking soda is a single chemical that reacts with liquid acids to neutralize them, in the process releasing bubbles of carbon dioxide gas–I should have remembered this, given Suzanne’ and my experiences in basic chemistry–while baking powder is baking soda plus a salt that acts as a dry acid. Thus it uses a two step process to react and produce carbon dioxide)4. Why some recipes call for unsalted butter (different brands use different amounts of salt in their ‘salted butter;’ when chefs are making a recipe with a lot of butter, for taste reasons, it pays to be precise)5. And, for about five minutes, I understood all the differences between copper, iron, stainless steel, aluminum pans and all the variations thereof. Can’t remember it, except that copper is where its at for cooks, due to heating properties. Q: Do you recommend it?I’m upgrading my recommendation to a ‘sort of.’ He really is best when he sticks to the physics in the kitchen and avoids the politics of food. You definitely have to like the format, know just a bit about cooking and want something you can pick up and put down without losing any momentum. Like Charlie Brown’s Super Book of Questions and Answers, this isn’t a format that engages me. Q&A lacks the details and context that elevates information from trivia to learning. And, much like Charlie Brown, Wolke prefers to avoid the politics of food, or even, on the occasions they intrude into questions, dismiss them. For instance, a question on why refined sugar is ‘bad, ‘ he gives an explanation of how sugar is refined, and then says, “when the molasses components are removed, will someone please explain to me how the remaining pure sucrose suddenly becomes evil and unhealthful?” Its the kind of answer that dismisses the question as it pretends to answer. Any dietitian can give you a dissertation on why refined sugar is bad (as opposed to fruit and dairy ‘sugars’). I really am all about context, which is why these Q&A formats don’t work for me. But if you enjoy it, he has a sequel out and waiting for you. Q: Ultimate rating then? Two and a half stars. I rounded up, because, you know. Besides, I like sciencey people.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-08 19:20

    More superficial and less relevant *to me* than I'd hoped. 1In a way, it's a lot like a lot of similar 'debunking pseudo-science' books I frequently read, including, just this week, the latest from Dr. Joe Schwarz. Sometimes the light tone is just right, sometimes Wolke strains for humor and doesn't reach it. It's always clear and easy to read though.I did use a lot of book darts to mark bits of note, so let's see what they point to:A recipe for 'White Chocolate' Bars. Of course, white chocolate has no chocolate, and upon second look these bars look much too rich for me, more like fudge than blondies. Skip."Clarified butter [akin to ghee] will keep much longer than whole butter will, because bacteria can work away at protein, but not at pure oil."To make clarified butter, melt slowly, then refrigerate. Three layers appear, the top casein froth which is tasty and will flavor veggies nicely, the middle ghee, and the bottom watery sedimented layer, for which there is no suggested use.Test your baking powder by adding it to ordinary water - it should fizz vigorously.A recipe for Fish in a Package, which informs me that parchment paper and aluminum foil are interchangeable in these little oven-steamed packets.Since metal conducts energy, thaw packages more quickly simply by placing them in a metal bowl or skillet, w/ as much surface in or near contact as possible. (I tested this informally - it does seem to work terrifically!)If using the microwave to heat water for tea, heat it extra long in a larger container, so that you can bring it to a full boil temperature, so you get fully dissolved tea and less sludgy precipitate. Or use a teakettle on the stove. I tried extra-long in the microwave and it seems like it did help quite a bit to make the tea more fully flavored and the empty cup less messy.Chipped or crazed ceramic is not safe in the microwave, because the chip breaks the glaze and exposes the porous clay. Water can get trapped in there, then it may boil in the hot microwave, and crack the cup or bowl.A recipe for Lemon Curd. Omg it looks nummy. But realistically I am not likely to make it, neither should I. Oh well.It's important to use a measuring device close to the size of the amt you're measuring. My oldest son likes to get out the 2 cup glass measure and use it for everything, even the 1/4 cup oil. But because of settling, and the wide mouth relative to the portion, that's not going to yield a successful recipe. Wolke recommends the funnel-shaped Perfect Beaker made by EMSA Design of Frieling USA. Accurate from one ounce to one pint. I'm off to shop for it right after I finish this review."Spoilage bacteria make food repulsive and inedible, but they generally won't make us sick. Pathogenic bacteria, otoh, may be completely undetectable by taste or appearance, but are still dangerous. Low temperatures inhibit them both."

  • Libby
    2019-03-31 00:20

    HOLY FREAKING COW I LOVE THIS BOOK! This book took me about two months to read. Why? The reason it took so long to read is that each page or two has some interesting/truthful fact about cooking. I couldn't just read it in one setting. I would turn to the table of contents, scan a topic I was interested in at that very moment, then turn to the page, and read it. Each subject or fact was so fascinating and useful in my love for cooking, and wondering why certain things do certain things in the kitchen. This book was very scientifically based, BUT because I love cooking so much I found this book very thought provoking to me. I do struggle with chemistry, (a lot actually) yet the author's style and comedic flair was so helpful and funny to me that it kept me inthralled all the way to the bitter end. This is very much a book I want to own, and one that I would refer to quite frequently in my cooking experiments.

  • ❂ Jennifer
    2019-03-30 00:12

    4.5 stars. This one is an interesting, engaging and unique combination of reference, cookbook and almost an FAQ. I can definitely see myself coming back to this one again and again over time, and there are at least two recipes in here I'm eager to try (thank you to the author for including recipes that include a lot of egg-whites!).Full review:

  • Tali Autovino
    2019-04-18 18:29

    I do believe I was hungry at the time of my choosing, because I picked What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained. I loved everything about this book except for that it ruined my appetite for various processed foods (not entirely a bad thing), however it was interesting to read about.The author, Robert L. Wolke, is a chemistry professor who happens to take an interest in the molecular structures and production of foods, beverages, etc. He conducts experiments in his “laboratory,” also known as his kitchen, providing in-depth analyses for various theories and questions, such as, “does it really get hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk?” And, “what’s the difference between baking soda and baking powder?” Since the book is laid out in a casual, yet informative way, it made it relatively easy for me to comprehend.Like I had said before, Mr. Wolke is all about the molecular structures. We got amino acids over here, electrons over there - it’s chaos. It’s fascinating how he intertwines math and science so wonderfully, because when I think of cooking, I think of math, and when I think of baking, I think of science. For example, on page 201, he explains the “best and fastest way to defrost foods,” and then divulges into an explanation of heat being energy, and that what creates the heat are molecules moving at a certain pace, and then I thought, “Hey! If moving molecules are what produce heat, then boiling water must just be fast moving water molecules that have to move faster because they can’t escape the kettle, so they escape as water vapor through the spout! ” (Einstein-like, I know.)Now, this is where my love for coffee was put on pause. (Temporarily.)On page 222, “The Decaf Chronicles,” Mr. Wolke answers the question, “Are the chemicals used in decaffeinating coffee really safe? A chemist told me that they’re related to cleaning fluid.” (Random fun fact that I read a while ago: the marshmallows in Lucky Charms have an ingredient that is also used in toilet boil cleaners. Delicious, I know.) Anyway, back to the “Decaf Chronicles.” He replies to this by explaining the modern-day process (already hazardous) of decaffeinating coffee. They take the caffeine molecules out of the coffee, putting them in carbon dioxide, which he says that other chemists like to call it, “super-critical; it’s neither gas, solid, or liquid.” Yikes. In addition to his minor algebraic tangents, Mr. Wolke touches base on why some nutrition labels don’t add up. On page 72, he was asked, “how come the amounts of fat on food labels don’t add up? When I add the number of grams of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats, they come to less than the number of grams of ‘total fat.’” In reply, he runs to his pantry, grabs some Wheat Thins, and gets to work. With a calculator at hand, he shows that when adding the one gram of saturated fat, zero grams of unsaturated fat, and two grams of monounsaturated fat, it simply does not add up to the total of six grams listed. I then got into Scientific Method-mode, putting my book down and trying to generate a theory of my own. Here’s what I thought: “if the Wheat Thins have six grams of fat total but only three are shown, then it has to be about mass of that Wheat Thins are lying.” I went with mass. With no answer to my inference, I read on. A-ha! I was somewhat correct! Professor Science over here said, “although the number of grams of ‘Total Fat’ on the label is indeed the weight of the whole fat molecules, glycerol parts and all, the amounts of ‘saturated fat,’ ‘polyunsaturated fat,’ and ‘monounsaturated fat’ are the weights of the fatty acid parts alone.”Have a headache yet?Well, since the book’s general purpose is to gather up anonymous questions and to answer them in the most understandable way, I assumed I would be left with little to no questions. Of course not! The first thing that confuses me is the coffee brand “Sanka,” which initially meant, “sans-caffeine,” and is commonly known for their cheap-tasting instant caffeinated coffee. So, one would infer that either the creators were lazy to change the name or needed to brush up on their Latin prefixes. Another question I have is: do all fruits and vegetables have a certain percentage of acid in them? On page 112, someone asked why their lasagna was eating little holes in the aluminum foil that covered it. Mr. Wolke explained that is was partially due to the level of acidity in the tomatoes, and partially because of the metal tray she put the food in. It is also a common fact that lemons have a significant amount of citric acid, giving them a tart taste. This question is what really boggles me. What is trans fat? Out of the numerous fats that Mr. Wolke taught me about, he did not fully explain what trans fat is. Obviously, it’s not good for your body, considering it has been kicked out of New York City. Also, if it’s a bad fatty acid, why are we still allowed to have saturated fats in our diet? That’s a bad fat, too! I know that anyone who goes to McDonald’s would not be a happy camper, but I don’t see the difference.

  • Shelah
    2019-03-24 20:30

    Strictly speaking, What Einstein Told His Cook is more of a reference book than anything else. Wolke divides the book into sections like "Sweet Talk" (all about sugar) and "Salt of the Earth" and goes on to answer common questions about the topic at large. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I'm all about a good food book. And this is one, so even though I probably should have used it as a reference, I read it like a novel, from cover to cover. It was entertaining, and I learned a lot about why foods act the way they do. I've recommended it to a bunch of my friends with science backgrounds, and I haven't heard back to see if they enjoyed the book (or managed to read it yet), but I've wondered since if it might be a better book for a non-science layperson like me for whom all of the information is new (an acid and a base counteract each other when mixed? who knew!) than for someone who already knows all that stuff. This book was published about a decade ago (I think) and Wolke has gone on to write another book in the same series (which I currently have on reserve at the library) and a couple of other "What Einstein Told..." books that are about science but not about cooking.

  • Ashvin
    2019-04-08 00:18

    Although the author sounds like a bit of a pretentious douchbag once or twice, I enjoyed this book a lot. It's divided into very short sections, so it's great for the bathroom or very quick spurts. (Oh, no pun intended, yet I leave that in.) It's also nice as a second book by the bedside. For example, while I was trying to read "The Rest is Noise," which taxed my attention and brain too much, I would end the night with a few pages of this much lighter book. It wasn't anything earth-shattering, but pleasant enough. If you're interested in the topic, I recommend it as a very low-committment fling.

  • Evalina
    2019-04-20 00:19

    Loved this book! Robert writes in such a lite and fun way. He's able to explain the chemistry of things that go on in the kitchen in a fun and relatable way. Made me laugh a few times and reminded me of the reasons as to why I love science. You may have heard of what you should and shouldn't do in the kitchen, or that you should avoid certain foods, but these critics don't seem to have a plausible reason as to why they should avoid or use alternative methods and foods. This book takes away the biases and gets to the science of it. You may be surprised to find that you shouldn't always listen to the latest health food craze, turns out, some of them just want your money...

  • AJ McEvoy
    2019-04-17 23:24

    Not much to say, except that this is a fascinating, fabulous fusion of science & cooking. All the basics of cooking are much easier to remember if one understands the reasons behind standard kitchen techniques.

  • Lorena
    2019-04-10 00:19

    Es un libro principalmente de bioquímica de los alimentos con algunas partes de física. Me gustó recordar muchos conceptos básicos y no tan básicos sobre esta materia. El autor lo cuenta de manera muy clara, sencilla y cómica con toques sarcástico; muy ingenioso y elocuente. Me gustó el estilo. Cada capítulo trata de un alimento o componente o forma de cocción o utensilio de cocina. Habla una parte teórica pero siempre en función a algo práctico y cotidiano, además de responder preguntas que le han hecho en su web. De esta manera explica y rompe mitos sobre los Es un libro principalmente de bioquímica de los alimentos con algunas partes de física. Me gustó recordar muchos conceptos básicos y no tan básicos sobre esta materia. El autor lo cuenta de manera muy clara, sencilla y cómica con toques sarcástico; muy ingenioso. Me gustó el estilo. Cada capítulo trata de un alimento o componente o forma de cocción o utensilio de cocina. Habla una parte teórica pero siempre en función a algo práctico y cotidiano, además de responder preguntas que le han hecho en su web. De esta manera explica y rompe mitos sobre los alimentos y formas de preparación. Genial para quienes quieren recordar o aprender sobre este tema ya que no creo que se necesite base química para entenderlo. Es muy claro.

  • Menglong Youk
    2019-04-05 18:31

    2.5/5 stars I picked up this book hoping to learn more about chemistry and physics in the kitchen, but it doesn't really give me what I want. Mind you, it is not a bad book, but I do not want to know how to cook; I just wanted to know the interesting sciences behind it, but there seems to be not many of them in here.

  • Christopher Gallaga
    2019-04-09 23:14

    I know a lot of culinary people loved and respected this book. While I found a handful of interesting new facts, and at least one startling reframing (electricity is transmitted fire) I found much of the tone the author takes to be petulant and juvenile. More often than not I put the book aside disappointed, either in the banalities of the information or the poor delivery.

  • Benay
    2019-04-01 23:12

    Though it has lots of interesting information about cooking and food/kitchen science in general, the constant bad jokes, overly simplistic "tech speak" without more real context, and the inclusion of questions that were (at least in my opinion) so narrow as to be irrelevant and/or banal took away a couple stars.

  • Tiffany
    2019-04-03 23:19

    The book What Einstein Told His Cook Kitchen Science Explained the author Robert L. Wolke talks about a lot of things from the differences of sugar to the tools that are used in the kitchen. The author investigates things from questions that people have about cooking, and certain things used around the kitchen, he talks about the science people don’t really know about. For example, one of the questions was, “To sweeten my iced tea quickly, I added powdered sugar. But it turned into gummy lumps. What happened?” His simply said that the person had used the wrong type of sugar. The sugar she had used was powder so it can take in moisture. The sugar she should have used was granulated sugar which is grain of pure sugar. When I read this book I found three fields of science, Food Chemistry, Enzymology, and Nutrition. One thing I found for nutrition was how people claim the brown sugar is healthier then the plain white sugar, but both are basically the same, their sucrose and one is not healthier than the other. Two things I found out for food Chemistry was that Sulfur dioxide is used to lessen the color of molasses, and to also kill things that we don’t want like mold. This happens during the refining process. Also, that when you add salt to boiling water in increases the boiling point. For Enzymology the book had explained the plants and animals can break down starch molecules down into syrup of different sugars. This book at some points was really confusing because there were a lot of facts to take in, no matter how many times I re-read it. I didn’t have any big questions because a lot of it I didn’t fully understand. There is one question that this book made me think about. Is it true that when we something salty or sweet our taste buds can balance both of them out, or do they balance each other out?

  • Ebookwormy1
    2019-03-19 22:09

    This book is interesting and well written, quite a page turner actually. However, the structure of the work is to answer questions on various topics. For example, I read the Salt of the Earth Chapter, which features answers to questions such as: - What are all those special salts and meat tenderizers in the supermarket? - What are salt substitutes? - Why add salt to the water when boiling pasta?- Whats so special about sea salt? Kosher salt? Freshly ground salt?- Can a potato remove the excess salt from over-salted soup?- Why do recipes tell you to use unsalted butter and then add salt?etc.Some of these questions have little interest to me, some are things I've wondered myself. While Wolke's answers are both delightfully colorful and practically instructive, after reading the book, I feel as if I haven't really learned much beyond some random trivia. And because the work doesn't focus on concepts for cooking (but rather the answering of questions under the topic of salt, meat, fats, sugars, etc.), I don't think I have improved as a cook either.If you are looking for a fun read, this book will satisfy. If you are looking for instruction on the science of cooking beyond what you get in a thorough cook book, I think you will want to look elsewhere. I know I did.... I'm going to return this book and try Harold McGee's "On Cooking and Science.." next.

  • Henriette
    2019-04-03 18:33

    If I wasn't a food engineer, and knew nothing about (food) chemistry, I'd probably enjoy the book, but I couldn't stand to read more than a chapter - not only because of impatience with the lack of new information, but mainly because of technical errors, such as when the author explaif I wasn't a food engineer, and knew nothing about (food) chemistry, I'd probably enjoy the book, but I couldn't stand to read more a chapter - not only because of impatience with the lack of new information, but mainly because of technical errors, such as when the author attributes caking (in sugar powders) to low moisture, or when he classifies aspartic acid as a protein... So, it is maybe well written and sort of interesting, but not for chemistry or food professionals.ns caking (in sugar powders) as attributed to low moisture, or when he classifies aspartic acid as a protein... So, it is maybe well written and sort of interesting, but not for chemistry or food professionals.

  • Kater Cheek
    2019-04-13 18:31

    I think I must have read this book years and years ago and forgot to write a review, which tricked me into thinking I hadn't read it. It's a book about kitchen science. It's good reading for anyone who loves chemistry and cooking, and it's good fodder if you're the type of person who likes to argue with that annoying person in your life who picks up dieting advice from the media that flies in the face of common sense. Wolke doesn't just explain what happens when you freeze an egg, or describe why baking powder goes bad but baking soda doesn't, he also explains some of the marketing trickery that enables people to have "fat free" cooking oils and "salt free" salt. If you'd like to know more about what happens in your kitchen from a scientific point of view, this is a good place to start.

  • Madhuri
    2019-04-18 18:09

    Mr. Wolke, a chemistry professor at the University of Pittsburgh, presents his topics in sort of a question / answer format. The articles themselves are short – easily consumed in one sitting (if you catch my drift) – but are topically consolidated into larger and more complete chapters. Wolke answers the posed questions in a very thorough and straightforward manner. He describes his topic in layman's terms, including scientific terminology in “techspeak” notes. For example:“The most common use for cream of tartar in the kitchen is for stabilizing beaten egg whites. It accomplishes this trick because it is somewhat acidic, even though it is a salt. (Techspeak: It lowers the pH of the mixture.)”

  • Renee
    2019-04-12 23:14

    The author tries to answers questions about cooking, myths in the kitchen, chemistry of foods, misleading labels, the Zero calories, etc... and breaks it down through experiments and lots of chemistry & scientific information. A good book in general. I learned a bit & refreshed up on some other things. I gave this a 3 star because a lot of the information I already knew based on my history of reading, loving science, and taking advanced chemistry classes/college etc... but if you don't really love science & chem that much and just want some straight answers this book is great (though it does give a lot of science behind it).

  • James
    2019-04-12 23:33

    Food columnist Robert Wolke puts forth this combination of questions he's fielded over the years about kitchen science. They're conveniently organized by common subject (all the microwave related questions together, all the alcohol questions together, etc.). Interesting book, if you care for knowing why certain things happen with your food or have always wondered just what the difference is between baking power and baking soda.

  • Sesana
    2019-04-03 02:33

    This will appeal to exactly the sort of person who loves Good Eats. Of course, if you're a faithful viewer of Good Eats, Alton Brown has already explained much of what is in this book to you already. But there's always more to learn, and there is indeed plenty in here that AB hasn't covered yet. And Wolke's tone is very similar to AB's tone on Good Eats. I mean all these comparisons as the absolute highest of praise, of course.

  • Amjad Al Taleb
    2019-03-29 02:31

    Not very clear from the title... this is a science book :DHonestly I thought I will learn how to cook in a scientific way, but this book went much deeper into the science behind what takes place in that part of our houses. I recommend this to anyone, even those who are not at all interested in cooking but would be intrigued to learn some everyday basic science.

  • Anna
    2019-04-20 02:26

    The Q&A format and entertaining prose make this book great! For those into nutrition and food chemistry, some sections will be a review. But if you're a beginning cook, interested in science in the kitchen, or find yourself wondering about things like, "Why does vanilla extract smell so good and make food taste so good, yet taste so awful from the bottle?" - then this book is for you!

  • Aron
    2019-04-03 00:31

    I'm considering buying a copy of this to keep around for reference, because it explains so many common kitchen questions. I read it cover-to-cover like a novel, though, because that's what it felt like it was trying to be. A decent straddling of those two genres, but only great as the former.

  • Jason Gehring
    2019-04-02 00:23

    while i learned most of this information in culinary school, this book was a nice refresher course, and offered some more in-depth knowledge about the chemistry behind excellent book written in a simplified, yet intelligent, and sometimes hilarious way.

  • Sue
    2019-04-13 18:14

    If you've cooked for a decade or more, especially if yòùre in habit of reading cookbooks, you likeły know mòst of thîs. While well expłained, The science is largely high-schooł level. Did nòt enjòy "witty„ style. Best parts fòr me: microwave ovens, añd fòod irradiation.

  • Jeff
    2019-03-26 22:20

    Great book! It does an outstanding job of debunking a lot of food myths by giving a solid foundation of food science.

  • Nicolas Tupégabet
    2019-04-14 02:36


  • Diane
    2019-04-04 20:28

    Very interesting explanations of the science of various foods, cooking, and kitchen storage.