Cover image for The curious cook : more kitchen science and lore
The curious cook : more kitchen science and lore
McGee, Harold.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : North Point Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
x, 339 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX651 .M268 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Cooking with aluminum pots and pans doesn't cause Alzheimer's disease. This is only one of the curious facts that fill The Curious Cook--a book that persuasively demonstrates that science can enrich everyday experiences liek cooking, eating, and living.

Author Notes

Harold McGee writes about the chemistry of food and cooking, and the science of everyday life. He has worked alongside some of world's most innovative chefs, including Thomas Keller and Heston Blumenthal. He lives with his family in California.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Expanding on his previous On Food and Cooking [BKL O 1 84], McGee takes us back into the kitchen to discover why food reacts as it does to certain processes. He entertains such questions as whether searing meat really seals in the juices, why some green vegetables and herbs (such as basil and lettuce) turn brown when cut, and why cooks who wear glasses get oil drops on the inside of their lenses when they fry food. The second part of the book deals with health issues (fat, the correlation between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease, and carcinogens in food, among others) and the third part with the mechanism of flavor. Although written in accessible language, McGee does occasionally get a bit too technical for the casual reader. For those willing to persevere, however, this book offers entertainment and solid information on cookery issues. For comprehensive collections. Bibliography; to be indexed. ~--Jill Sidoti

Publisher's Weekly Review

Not a recipe collection but a series of investigations into culinary problems and dogma, this combines McGee's ( On Food and Cooking ) appreciation of the good life with his background in biochemistry and dedication to experimental procedure. In the first section the author reconsiders received truths, such as ``sear the meat to seal in the juices,'' and proceeds to demonstrate, in this case, that it just isn't so. He evolves a means for the home cook to sterilize egg yolks without ruining them for hollandaise or mayonnaise, and discusses the function of sugar in sherbet texture. Explaining the relevant chemistry in accessible terms, McGee appeals to those who savor nuances of method in problem-solving, but in spite of some witty touches and a tone much lightened by etymological and historical asides, his very perseverance can become wearisome. The second section addresses health problems associated with eating habits, including a lengthy and informative, though scarcely comforting, treatment of cholesterol's impact on the circulatory system. In the final, highly readable section, McGee offers a more subjective view of gastronomy in essays paying tribute to Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin and the continuing quest for a science of taste. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved