Though it doesn't quite live up to the "ultimate reference on how cooking works" claim, Joachim and Schloss' encyclopedic guide to all things food is a welcome culinary reference. Alphabetically arranged, cross-referenced entries like "citrus," "game," "juice," "roasting" and "sweeteners," allow readers to navigate deftly the book's trove of information. The authors explain not only how techniques like frying work, they also give readers the chance to make Perfect French Fries with their newfound knowledge. Over 100 recipes bring scientific data to life, most dramatically in examples like Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream and Coconut Sweet Potato Foam, more practically in gluten-free flour and low-fat brownies (substituting dried plums for butter). Armchair chefs will enjoy learning why a whole potato cooks more quickly in boiling water than in a 500 degree oven, the difference between wet and dry-cured hams, and the secrets to making a smooth, creamy custard. The book's range is admirable, but its depth erratic; the entry on bacteria and food contamination is much too brief, and readers are sure to find that their favorite fruit/ingredient/technique doesn't get the attention they feel it deserves (hoisin, for example, merits an entry, but soy sauce is an afterthought; teriyaki and ponzu are absent). Still, this admirable endeavor deserves a spot next to Alton Brown's Good Eats and Harold McGee's classic On Food and Cooking.
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Chances are home cooks and professionals alike could learn a new bit of kitchen knowledge from The Science of Good Food.
The Pueblo Chieftain
For anyone interested in food, The Science of Good Food is fascinating reading as well as a useful tool.
Joachim and Schloss use a dictionary approach for their comprehensive guide to the whys and wherefores of cooking and eating. In succinct articles, they address such cooking processes as roasting. In simple prose, they explain the term, outline what the process does to food, and then delve into how the process actually accomplishes its purposes. Similarly, the authors define a wide range of ingredients, giving brief histories and explaining how each ingredient is used to advantage. Well-organized tables of data help sort out detailed information. Recipes scattered throughout offer ways of actually putting information into practice. Expositions of fundamental chemistry avoid detail and will appeal to those with only rudimentary scientific literacy. Full-color illustrations of such basic topics as knife anatomy contribute to understanding. Sidebars cover minor, yet useful, topics, including cooking potatoes and preventing soggy pastry crusts. Good for basic cookery reference collections. Teens curious about how food gets to the table can turn here for clear answers.
Minneapolis-St. Paul StarTribune
A smorgasbord if fascinating facts, tidbits, recipes and guidance for curious cooks.... It's for everyday cooks like me.
This is an A to Z reference book that brings the science of food to home cooks.
Foodies interested in learning the science behind cooking will appreciate "The Science of Good Food: The Ultimate Reference Book on How Cooking Works."
We Taste Cincinnati online
The Science of Good Food is the ultimate GPS for your kitchen.
The Things We Get blog
The knowledge -- of science -- will make you a far better and more flexible chef.
Minneapolis-St. Paul StarTribune - Beth Dooley
This encyclopedic volume, organized from A (acid) through W (wine) is a smorgasbord if fascinating facts, tidbits, recipes and guidance for curious cooks. In a rapidly growing subcategory of the cookbook shelves, this tome is distinguished by its depth and breadth of information and its easy-to-read format and casual, yet confident tone. It's for everyday cooks like me who struggle to help their eighth-graders with science homework.
Register-Mail - Kathryn Rem
This is an A to Z reference book that brings the science of food to home cook... Complex subject matters are written in an easy-to-understand style, and there are lots of charts and graphs and some color photos. The book contains more than 100 recipes related to the subject matter.
We Taste Cincinnati online - The Things We Get blog
The Science of Good Food is the ultimate GPS for your kitchen, with delicious recipes designed to teach useful techniques and answer culinary questions.... Bursting with practical tips and their scientific foundations, The Science of Good Food brings the exciting culinary frontier of molecular gastronomy into the home kitchen.
Spot-On.com - Kevin Weeks
These [food science] books are valuable I think every cook should have some understanding of the chemistry, physics, and biology of food and cooking.... The knowledge of science will make you a far better and more flexible chef.