Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor

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Overview

Hervé This (pronounced "Teess") is an internationally renowned chemist, a popular French television personality, a bestselling cookbook author, a longtime collaborator with the famed French chef Pierre Gagnaire, and the only person to hold a doctorate in molecular gastronomy, a cutting-edge field he pioneered. Bringing the instruments and experimental techniques of the laboratory into the kitchen, This uses recent research in the chemistry, physics, and biology of food to challenge traditional ideas about cooking...

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Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor

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Overview

Hervé This (pronounced "Teess") is an internationally renowned chemist, a popular French television personality, a bestselling cookbook author, a longtime collaborator with the famed French chef Pierre Gagnaire, and the only person to hold a doctorate in molecular gastronomy, a cutting-edge field he pioneered. Bringing the instruments and experimental techniques of the laboratory into the kitchen, This uses recent research in the chemistry, physics, and biology of food to challenge traditional ideas about cooking and eating. What he discovers will entertain, instruct, and intrigue cooks, gourmets, and scientists alike.

Molecular Gastronomy, This's first work to appear in English, is filled with practical tips, provocative suggestions, and penetrating insights. This begins by reexamining and debunking a variety of time-honored rules and dictums about cooking and presents new and improved ways of preparing a variety of dishes from quiches and quenelles to steak and hard-boiled eggs. He goes on to discuss the physiology of flavor and explores how the brain perceives tastes, how chewing affects food, and how the tongue reacts to various stimuli. Examining the molecular properties of bread, ham, foie gras, and champagne, the book analyzes what happens as they are baked, cured, cooked, and chilled.

Looking to the future, Herve This imagines new cooking methods and proposes novel dishes. A chocolate mousse without eggs? A flourless chocolate cake baked in the microwave? Molecular Gastronomy explains how to make them. This also shows us how to cook perfect French fries, why a soufflé rises and falls, how long to cool champagne, when to season a steak, the right way to cook pasta, how the shape of a wine glass affects the taste of wine, why chocolate turns white, and how salt modifies tastes.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Gourmet

Taking kitchen science to a whole new (molecular) level, Hervé This is changing the way France -- and the world -- cooks.

New York Sun

Mr. This's book will broaden the way you think about food.

Appetite for Books
This has written an interesting and timely combination of our everyday experience with sophisticated science.

— Claudia Kousoulas

epicurious.com
He is revered by the revered.

— JJ Goode

O Chef

A wonderful book.... it will appeal to anyone with an interest in the science of cooking.

Choice

For anyone who likes to eat or cook.

Pagosa Springs Sun

This offers some though-provoking opportunities for play in the kitchen.

Saveur
This book, praiseworthy for its scientific rigor, will hold a special appeal for anyone who relishes the debunking of culinary myths.

— Todd Coleman

The Bloomsbury Review
A fresh approach... that will entertain and enlighten anyone interested in the process of cooking and the enjoyment of food.

— Raymond J. Shively, Jr.

Vancouver Sun
Anyone with an inordinate passion for cooking would love this book.

— Mia Stainsby

EMBO Reports
A timely addition... Suitable for both scientists and the lay public.

— Thorvald Pedersen

Academia

This book is laden with science while rendering a clear approach to flavor.

The Economist

[A] captivating little book.

Keanu Reeves

He is fantastic. I didn't really cook before but this book may be changing my life.

Appetite for Books - Claudia Kousoulas

This has written an interesting and timely combination of our everyday experience with sophisticated science.

epicurious.com - J.J. Goode
He is revered by the revered.
Saveur - Todd Coleman

This book, praiseworthy for its scientific rigor, will hold a special appeal for anyone who relishes the debunking of culinary myths.

The Bloomsbury Review - Raymond J. Shively

A fresh approach... that will entertain and enlighten anyone interested in the process of cooking and the enjoyment of food.

Vancouver Sun - Mia Stainsby

Anyone with an inordinate passion for cooking would love this book.

EMBO Reports - Thorvald Pedersen

A timely addition... Suitable for both scientists and the lay public.

epicurious.com - JJ Goode

He is revered by the revered.

Choice

For anyone who likes to eat or cook.

Yum.fi

this is a great book on so many levels

Alison McCulloch
Molecular Gastronomy is a frustrating yet curiously fascinating book filled with food arcana that perhaps only the French can fully appreciate.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Hervé This is a physical chemist of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris. One of the two founders of the science called molecular gastronomy, he is the author of Columbia's Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking and of several other books on food and cooking. He is a monthly contributor to Pour la Science, the French-language edition of Scientific American.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's PrefaceIntroduction to the English Language AdditionPart One: Secrets of the Kitchen1 Making Stock2 Clarifying Stock3 Hard-Boiled Eggs4 Quiches, Quenelles, and Puff Pastries5 Echaudes and Gnocchi6 The Well-Leavened Souffle7 Quenelles and Their Cousins8 Fondue9 Roasting Beef10 Seasoning Steak11 Wine and Marinades12 Color and Freshness13 Softening Lentils14 Souffleed Potatoes15 Preserves and Preserving Pans16 Saving a Creme Anglaise17 Grains of Salt18 Of Champagne and Teaspoons19 Coffee, Tea, and MilkPart Two: The Physiology of Flavor20 Food as Medicine21 Taste and Digestion22 Taste in the Brain23 Papillary Cells24 How Salt Affects Taste25 Detecting Tastes26 Bitter Tastes27 Hot Up Front28 The Taste of Cold29 Mastication30 Tenderness and Juiciness31 Measuring Aromas32 At Table in the Nursery33 Food Allergies34 Public Health AlertsPart Three: Investigations and Models35 The Secret of Bread36 Yeast and Bread37 Curious Yellow38 Gustatory Paradoxes39 The Taste of Food40 Lumps and Strings41 Foams42 Hard Sausage43 Spanish Hams44 Foie Gras45 Antioxidant Agents46 Trout47 Cooking Times48 The Flavor of Roasted Meats49 Tenderizing Meats50 Al Dente51 Forgotten Vegetables52 Preserving Mushrooms53 Truffles54 More Flavor55 French Fries56 Mashed Potatoes57 Algal Fibers58 Cheeses59 From Grass to Cheese60 The Tastes of Cheese61 Yogurt62 Milk Solids63 Sabayons64 Fruits in Syrup65 Fibers and Jams66 The Whitening of Chocolate67 Caramel68 Bread and Crackers69 The Terroirs of Alsace70 Length in the Mouth71 Tannins72 Yellow Wine73 Wine Without Dregs74 Sulfur and Wine75 Wine Glasses76 Wine and Temperature77 Champagne and its Foam78 Champagne in a Flute79 Demi Versus Magnum80 The Terroirs of Whisky81 Cartagenes82 TeaPart Four: A Cuisine for Tomorrow83 Cooking in a Vacuum84 Aromas or Reactions?85 Butter: A False Solid86 Liver Mousse87 In Praise of Fats88 Mayonnaises89 Aioli Generalized90 Orders of Magnitude91 Hundred-Year-Old Eggs92 Smoking Salmon93 Methods and Principles94 Pure Beef95 Fortified Cheeses96 Chantilly Chocolate97 Everything Chocolate98 Playing with Texture99 Christmas Recipes100 The Hidden Taste of Wine101 TeleolfactionGlossaryFurther ReadingIndex

Columbia University Press

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Concerning Flavor in the Kitchen - and On the Table!

    Ever wonder why secrets in the kitchen passed from generation to generation seem to be performed without any real reason - 'that it just the way it's done'? If the reasons for these culinary myths mystify you, then this book will by not only entertaining to read but also explain why certain rules are valid while others are complete misconceptions. It makes cooking (and eating) not only more interesting but gives scientific rational for the things we do by habit. 'Molecular gastronomy is a discipline practiced by both scientists and food professionals that studies the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking. It is also the use of such studied processes in many professional kitchens and labs. It seeks to investigate and explain the chemical reasons behind the transformation of ingredients, as well as the social, artistic and technical components of culinary and gastronomic phenomena in general.' And so writers, both scientists, Kurti and This spread the real word. Here are the times that specific vegetables should be cooked in a microwave, how to handle vegetables in cooking on the stove, and how to manage the preparation of meat, etc. In addition to adding to the intellectual matrix of cooking there are included in this book many recipes that show us how to build a proper meal. The book works on many levels, and is a handy guide to keep on the kitchen counter for those doubters of traditional handling and preparation of food. Myths are dispelled, and scientific proof is put into place. Grady Harp

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    Posted February 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

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