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Jun 27, 2012 05:41 PM

Two New Home-Friendly Food Science Books

An article in todays paper says there are two new food science books coming out in the fall which are home friendly (their words):

"The Science of Good Cooking" from Cook's Illustrated

"Modernist Cuisine At Home"

Heard anything about them? I haven't tried to find out when or how much they'll cost yet. Hopefully not as expensive as the "Modernist Cuisine" books!

I just looked them up on Amazon (should have done this first). The CI book is being released on 1 Oct for $28; the Modernist book at a whopping 400+ pages is $140 and being released 8 Oct.

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  1. Here's an interview with Nathan Myhrvold about the at-home modernist book:


      Ive been reading a library copy of The Kitchen as Laboratory, a set of essays on various aspects of food and cooking from a scientific (molecular gastronomy) perspective.
      is a sample chapter on Maillard reaction.

      3 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        I accidentally came across Kitchen as Laboratory this weekend, and I've been riveted. Absolutely riveted. Neurons are going off in the noggin.

        It's one thing to intuitively know why certain things happen the way they happen- it's completely another to understand the scientific principles behind them. I'm particularly fascinated by pH levels of food and how they interact with different techniques and methods.

        A profound understanding of the scientific principles behind cooking can only make the activity more profound, in the same way that understanding gravity and the nuclear reactions of stars enhances looking out in the night sky.

        Can't understate how amazing this book is.

        1. re: biggreenmatt

          Can't overstate, you mean? But who's counting...

      2. Thanks for the info. I'm a CI addict, and have recently been given a molecular gastronomy starter kit, but I can't find any great recipes to play with.

        I've been drooling over Myhrvold's Modernist set, but even the at-home version's price is kinda scary.

        2 Replies
        1. re: NonnieMuss

          I'm hoping the library gets a copy so I can read it. The price is too high for me to consider right now. But the CI one may get on my birthday wish list!

          1. re: fleck

            A couple of branches of my local library system have the 6 vol Myhrvold set on reserve.

        2. While waiting for these, take a look at Cooking for Geeks,

          Jeff has a couple of Chow videos.

          Hervé This, the 'father of molecular gastronomy' also has several books.

          1 Reply
          1. re: paulj

            Minor off-topic quibble:

            Calling Herve This 'the father of molecular gastronomy' is both quite accurate (he was a central figure in the original movement that called itself 'molecular gastronomy') and also very misleading. The dining trend we think of as 'molecular gastronomy' took little influence from the more academic approach of This and Kurti, and was based much more on Ferran Adria's work in manipulating the forms of foods and expectations of diners.

            Herve This is worth reading anyway, of course.

          2. It's not a dedicated food science book, but the Fat Duck Cookbook incorporates and explains a lot of science. More importantly, it does a better job examining the process of building a dish and the nuts and bolts of what make food appealing than any other book I've read (including great works like 'Modernist Cuisine' and 'On Food and Cooking'). Think of it as a master course in applied food science.