On Food and Cooking

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

4.46 (14,707 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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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.
  • illustrations
  • 0684800012
  • 9780684800011
  • 58,342

Table of contents



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

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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

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
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About Harold Mcgee

McGee, Harold
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 Appétit 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

14,707 ratings
4.46 out of 5 stars
5 63% (9,300)
4 24% (3,584)
3 9% (1,324)
2 2% (306)
1 1% (193)
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