On Food and Cooking
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On Food and Cooking : The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

4.47 (11,552 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A kitchen classic for nearly 35 years.
Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn 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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 884 pages
  • 170.18 x 250 x 45.72mm | 1,338.1g
  • SCRIBNER
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised and Updated ed.
  • 120 line drawings; 10 flow charts
  • 0684800012
  • 9780684800011
  • 19,499

Table of contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Cooking and Science, 1984 and 2004

Chapter 1 Milk and Dairy Products

Chapter 2 Eggs

Chapter 3 Meat

Chapter 4 Fish and Shellfish

Chapter 5 Edible Plants: An Introduction to Fruits and Vegetables, Herbs and Spices

Chapter 6 A Survey of Common Vegetables

Chapter 7 A Survey of Common Fruits

Chapter 8 Flavorings from Plants: Herbs and Spices, Tea and Coffee

Chapter 9 Seeds: Grains, Legumes, and Nuts

Chapter 10 Cereal Doughs and Batters: Bread, Cakes, Pastry, Pasta

Chapter 11 Sauces

Chapter 12 Sugars, Chocolate, and Confectionery

Chapter 13 Wine, Beer, and Distilled Spirits

Chapter 14 Cooking Methods and Utensil Materials

Chapter 15 The Four Basic Food Molecules

Appendix: A Chemistry Primer

Selected References

Index
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Review Text

"I know of no chef worth his salt who doesn't keep a copy of Harold McGee's masterwork, On Food and Cooking...Simply put, it is the Rosetta stone of the culinary world...McGee flipped on the science switch, and suddenly there was light. Whereas Julia Child taught "how," McGee explains 'why.'" - Alton Brown, Time
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Review quote

"I have used Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking for the last two decades whenever I've had questions on the chemistry of food or to understand some aspect of the cooking process. This extraordinary, new, expanded edition will occupy a place of prominence on my bookshelf." - Jacques Pepin, author of Jacques and Julia Cooking at Home and The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen "On Food and Cooking is the classic that weaves together history, science, and practical advice in mesmerizing (really) discussion of every conceivable topic of interest in the kitchen...Everyone who eats can use this book. It belongs in every home." - Cheryl Mendelson, author of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House "McGee's immeasurable knowledge and infinite wisdom has hugely influenced the state of gastronomy. I constantly refer to On Food and Cooking and I am thrilled there's more yet to learn from the master of food and science. This book covers topics I have never ever heard of in a comprehensive end all way." - Mario Batali, chef-owner of Babbo and Otto "Nothing could be more welcome than a revised and expanded verison of Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking. This big, immensely important work, with its breathtaking scope, is the basic resource for anyone who wants to understand the way we grow our food, harvest it, store it, cook it, consume, smell, taste, and even digest it. McGee's sceintific writing is intelligent, lucid, and always to the point -- helping both professionals and serious home cooks understand what happens when they work with food, enabling them to be more enlightened shoppers, cooks, and even eaters. The first edition of On Food and Cooking has been the best selling book in the history of our bookstore. A newer and larger On Food and Cooking is a gift to all who want to know how food works." - Nach Waxman, Owner, Kitchen Arts & Letters "Harold McGee's book is simply a monumental journey merging food and science...and a marvelous read." - Paula Wolfert, author of Mediterranean Cooking "Having the pleasure of working with Harold McGee at The French Laundry kitchen was a dream come true. On Food and Cooking continues to be the most accurate source of information for generations of chefs. A charismatic teacher, Harold is a veritable fountain of information and without peer in our industry. His books are the most worn and dog-eared of my entire collection." -Thomas Keller, chef-owner of The French Laundry and Per Se "A must-have resource for any student of the stove, On Food and Cooking synthesizes details from a wide variety of scientific disciplines and gastronomic traditions, sparking the reader's culinary imagination with every turn of the page. Harold McGee possesses that most rare combination: a scientist's skill and a cook's heart." -Rick Bayless, author of Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen and Mexico One Plate at a Time "Without an understanding of basic food science and practical cooking technique, there can ultimately be no true creativity in the kitchen! Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is the definitive treatise on this subject that both the professional and home cook will absolutely require to move their cooking forward." -Charlie Trotter, chef-owner of Charlie Trotter's "Harold McGee changed our lives with his original On Food and Cooking. While we knew that many things in cooking worked or didn't work, McGee showed us why. This new edition is the most complete book on food that I have ever seen, and it is easy to read-an inconceivable amount of information made incredibly accessible. On Food and Cooking is unique, engrossing reading and a major contribution to great culinary literature." -Shirley O. Corriher, author of CookWise "I know of no chef worth his salt who doesn't keep a copy of Harold McGee's masterwork, On Food and Cooking...Simply put, it is the Rosetta stone of the culinary world...McGee flipped on the science switch, and suddenly there was light. Whereas Julia Child taught "how," McGee explains 'why.'" - Alton Brown, Time
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About Harold McGee

Harold McGee is a world-renowned authority on the science of food and cooking. He studied science and literature at Caltech and Yale, and has written two prize-winning books, On Food and Cooking and The Curious Cook, as well as many articles and reviews. He has been named food writer of the year by Bon Appetit magazine and to the Time 100, an annual list of the world's most influential people. He lives in San Francisco.
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Rating details

11,552 ratings
4.47 out of 5 stars
5 63% (7,272)
4 26% (2,959)
3 9% (1,021)
2 2% (193)
1 1% (107)
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