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Popular book re: the chemistry of food

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I seem to remember a book on the chemistry of food that was pretty popular a few years ago. I'm shopping for my father, who's not a big foodie, is a retired doctor, and would be more intrigued as a light read, rather than a technical guide. Does this ring a bell for anyone? thanks.

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  1. Possibly Robert Wolke's "What Einstein Told His Cook"?

    1. Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen"?

      1. Something by Herve This?

        http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_nos...

        More on him:
        http://observer.guardian.co.uk/foodmo...
        http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/m...

        1. Shirley Corriher wrote one as well - google her as I don't recall the title...

          1 Reply
          1. re: atlantanative

            Cookwise

          2. Thanks for the replies. Now can someone tell me which of these they prefer, if you've read multiple?

            3 Replies
            1. re: sholli

              Cookwise (and Bakewise for that matter) is "lighter" than the McGee, not in any way to take away from either of them, the explanations of the science seem more accessible to me than the McGee while being no less accurate. My father-in-law was a retired doctor and if I were to have picked one of these books for him it would have been the Corriher.

              1. re: sholli

                McGee is the one that's gotten the most press, by far, especially a few years back, so it's probably the one you were thinking of. It's not exactly light reading but it's frequently entertaining and shouldn't be daunting at all for a retired MD.

                1. re: BobB

                  I have read McGee cover to cover and really enjoyed it. He explains things so well, and I agree he is entertaining. I picked up a copy of one of Herve This' books, all fairly short essays and was disappointed. They were all basically, "we set out to prove this, then this is how we proved it." More technical than McGee, less useful information or real explanations.

              2. I have McGee and I absolutely love it. It has a really nice balance of science and accessibility and I refer to it all the time when I have a quick question in the kitchen.