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Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Hardback

By (author) Michael Pollan

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  • Publisher: ALLEN LANE
  • Format: Hardback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 236mm x 48mm | 760g
  • Publication date: 23 April 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846147506
  • ISBN 13: 9781846147500
  • Sales rank: 32,709

Product description

The New York Times Top Five Bestseller - Michael Pollan's uniquely enjoyable quest to understand the transformative magic of cooking. In a culture of celebrity chefs and food reality shows, in countries which are crammed with fresh ingredients flown in from every corner of the Earth, we nonetheless year-on-year wade ever deeper into a great swamp of processed foods. The more we watch food on television, the less food we actually prepare and cook. Michael Pollan's marvellous new book is a clarion-call for the virtues and values of proper cooking - an essential, defining human activity which sits at the heart of our cultures, shapes family life and is in itself hugely enjoyable. Pollan recreates the transformative fundamentals of how we cook, building from the most basic principles: cooking with fire, cooking with water, cooking with air and cooking with earth. Cooked is an extremely funny and surprising plea to Pollan's readers to take control of their own fates and revel again in what should be a lifetime's engagement with the almost magical activity of making food. And it is, of course, about so much more - how cooking can transform both how we think about ourselves and about our families and friends. Reviews: "Pollan's book is many things, among them a memoir of learning to master the absolute basics of culinary creation: fire, water, air and earth. As Pollan chats with cheesemaking nuns and discovers Walt Whitman's views on composting, he reminds us that cooking used to be all about connection - with the world around us, with other times and cultures, and with those we cook for ...this book [is] both approachable and rewarding". (Hephzibah Anderson, Prospect). About the author: Michael Pollan is the author of Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defence of Food and Food Rules. He lives in California.

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Author information

Michael Pollan is the author of Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defence of Food and Food Rules. He lives in California.

Review quote

It's not often that a life-changing book falls into one's lap ... Yet Michael Pollan's Cooked is one of them. One it's impossible to read and not act on ... Embrace bacteria, cook thoughtfully and slow, and taste some of the most luscious food you've ever eaten, this powerful book says. And do it for the people you love as well as the invisible soldiers inside you who are fighting to keep you strong. Cooked is a book of revelations for today's hungry human animal. Be changed by it Sunday Telegraph In Cooked, Pollan continues his campaign to get us to eat properly and pleasurably by making meals from scratch ... a warm, thoughtful narrative in which Pollan encounters everything from a surfing baker who makes the perfect sourdough to a cheese-making nun. This is a love song to old, slow kitchen skills at their delicious best -- Kathryn Hughes Guardian BOOKS OF THE YEAR [A] rare, ranging breed of narrative that manages to do all ... In Pollan's dexterous hands, we get the science, the history, the inspiration, ultimately the recipe. What feels like all of it. It doesn't hurt that he also happens to be very funny Boston Globe Pollan's book is many things, among them a memoir of learning to master the absolute basics of culinary creation: fire, water, air and earth. As Pollan chats with cheesemaking nuns and discovers Walt Whitman's views on composting, he reminds us that cooking used to be all about connection - with the world around us, with other times and cultures, and with those we cook for ... this book [is] both approachable and rewarding -- Hephzibah Anderson Prospect As in The Omnivore's Dilemma, Pollan is never less than delightful, full of curiosity, insight, and good humor. This is a book to be read, savoured, and smudged with spatterings of olive oil, wine, butter, and the sulfuric streaks of chopped onion Outside Pollan eloquently explains how grilling with fire, braising (water), baking bread (air), and fermented foods (earth) have impacted our health and culture ... Engaging and enlightening Publishers Weekly A thoughtful meditation on cooking that is both difficult to categorize and uniquely, inimitably his ... Intensely focused yet wide ranging, beautifully written, thought provoking, and, yes, fun, Pollan's latest is not to be missed by those interested in how, why, or what we cook and eat Library Journal Having described what's wrong with American food in his best-selling The Omnivore's Dilemma (2006), New York Times contributor Pollan delivers a more optimistic but equally fascinating account of how to do it right ... A delightful chronicle of the education of a cook who steps back frequently to extol the scientific and philosophical basis of this deeply satisfying human activity Booklist [Pollan] explores the same way a naturalist might, by studing the animals, plants and microbes involved in cooking, and delving into history, culture and chemistry ... he describes the remarkable transformations that take place in the humble saucepan ... Side by side with Mr Pollan the naturalist is the author as activist ... his book is a hymn to why people should be enticed back into the kitchen Economist