Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor [NOOK Book]


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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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, Hervé 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


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 - Claudia Kousoulas

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

He is revered by the revered.

O Chef

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


For anyone who likes to eat or cook.

Pagosa Springs Sun

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

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.


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.

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.

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface
Introduction to the English Language Addition
Part One: Secrets of the Kitchen
1 Making Stock
2 Clarifying Stock
3 Hard-Boiled Eggs
4 Quiches, Quenelles, and Puff Pastries
5 Echaudes and Gnocchi
6 The Well-Leavened Souffle
7 Quenelles and Their Cousins
8 Fondue
9 Roasting Beef
10 Seasoning Steak
11 Wine and Marinades
12 Color and Freshness
13 Softening Lentils
14 Souffleed Potatoes
15 Preserves and Preserving Pans
16 Saving a Creme Anglaise
17 Grains of Salt
18 Of Champagne and Teaspoons
19 Coffee, Tea, and Milk
Part Two: The Physiology of Flavor
20 Food as Medicine
21 Taste and Digestion
22 Taste in the Brain
23 Papillary Cells
24 How Salt Affects Taste
25 Detecting Tastes
26 Bitter Tastes
27 Hot Up Front
28 The Taste of Cold
29 Mastication
30 Tenderness and Juiciness
31 Measuring Aromas
32 At Table in the Nursery
33 Food Allergies
34 Public Health Alerts
Part Three: Investigations and Models
35 The Secret of Bread
36 Yeast and Bread
37 Curious Yellow
38 Gustatory Paradoxes
39 The Taste of Food
40 Lumps and Strings
41 Foams
42 Hard Sausage
43 Spanish Hams
44 Foie Gras
45 Antioxidant Agents
46 Trout
47 Cooking Times
48 The Flavor of Roasted Meats
49 Tenderizing Meats
50 Al Dente
51 Forgotten Vegetables
52 Preserving Mushrooms
53 Truffles
54 More Flavor
55 French Fries
56 Mashed Potatoes
57 Algal Fibers
58 Cheeses
59 From Grass to Cheese
60 The Tastes of Cheese
61 Yogurt
62 Milk Solids
63 Sabayons
64 Fruits in Syrup
65 Fibers and Jams
66 The Whitening of Chocolate
67 Caramel
68 Bread and Crackers
69 The Terroirs of Alsace
70 Length in the Mouth
71 Tannins
72 Yellow Wine
73 Wine Without Dregs
74 Sulfur and Wine
75 Wine Glasses
76 Wine and Temperature
77 Champagne and its Foam
78 Champagne in a Flute
79 Demi Versus Magnum
80 The Terroirs of Whisky
81 Cartagenes
82 Tea
Part Four: A Cuisine for Tomorrow
83 Cooking in a Vacuum
84 Aromas or Reactions?
85 Butter: A False Solid
86 Liver Mousse
87 In Praise of Fats
88 Mayonnaises
89 Aioli Generalized
90 Orders of Magnitude
91 Hundred-Year-Old Eggs
92 Smoking Salmon
93 Methods and Principles
94 Pure Beef
95 Fortified Cheeses
96 Chantilly Chocolate
97 Everything Chocolate
98 Playing with Texture
99 Christmas Recipes
100 The Hidden Taste of Wine
101 Teleolfaction
Further Reading

Columbia University Press

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

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