Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking

Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking

3.6 3
by Simon Quellen Field
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

When you’re cooking, you’re a chemist! Every time you follow or modify a recipe, you are experimenting with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. In your kitchen you denature proteins, crystallize compounds, react enzymes with substrates, and nurture desired microbial life while suppressing harmful bacteria and fungi. And

See more details below

Overview

When you’re cooking, you’re a chemist! Every time you follow or modify a recipe, you are experimenting with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. In your kitchen you denature proteins, crystallize compounds, react enzymes with substrates, and nurture desired microbial life while suppressing harmful bacteria and fungi. And unlike in a laboratory, you can eat your experiments to verify your hypotheses.

            In Culinary Reactions, author Simon Quellen Field turns measuring cups, stovetop burners, and mixing bowls into graduated cylinders, Bunsen burners, and beakers. How does altering the ratio of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and water affect how high bread rises? Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide rather than the more common carbon dioxide? And why does Hollandaise sauce call for “clarified” butter? This easy-to-follow primer even includes recipes to demonstrate the concepts being discussed, including:

·        Whipped Creamsicle Topping—a foam

·        Cherry Dream Cheese—a protein gel

·        Lemonade with Chameleon Eggs—an acid indicator

 

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Full of charts, step-by-step photos, structural formulas, and amazing recipes (the cherry cream cheese has me drooling), you will become a better cook without even trying.” —MAKE Magazine

“This clear primer to the chemistry of cooking goes well beyond the basics to teach cooks how to improve their results scientifically.” —Science News

“The writing style is very personable and he does a great job of illustrating concepts with recipes.”      —Smithsonianmag.com

“With information advanced enough to interest the well-seasoned, hard-boiled home cook, the information in this book is written in such a friendly and approachable manner that even beginner kitchen-chemists will be delighted to learn from it.”—San Francisco Book Review

“A gateway into the science of food.”  —Gastronomica

Library Journal
Field (Why There's Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste: The Chemistry of Household Ingredients) believes the kitchen is really a chemistry lab in disguise because cooks preparing dishes employ the same procedures as chemists. He argues that understanding the scientific principles behind these processes is the key to becoming a better cook. From the reasoning behind weighing and measuring ingredients to creating foams and emulsions, Field delves into a number of topics to give readers a basic grounding in the chemistry of the kitchen. A few recipes are included, but this title reads more like a chemistry textbook than a cookbook. VERDICT Field is not the first to tackle this subject. Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a classic, and Shirley O. Corriher's CookWise and BakeWise are more recipe-focused. Still, although Field's contribution is written for Mr. Wizard fans rather than Betty Crocker candidates, it is an engaging and entertaining guide to the science of cooking.—John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569767061
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
312,865
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >