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The Science of the Oven

Overview

"Mayonnaise "takes" when a series of liquids form a semisolid consistency. Eggs, a liquid, become solid as they are heated, whereas, under the same conditions, solids melt. When meat is roasted, its surface browns and it acquires taste and texture. What accounts for these extraordinary transformations?" The answer: chemistry and physics. With clarity and wit, Herve This launches a wry investigation into the chemical art of cooking. Unraveling the science behind common culinary technique and practice, Herve This breaks food down to its molecular

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The Science of the Oven

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Overview

"Mayonnaise "takes" when a series of liquids form a semisolid consistency. Eggs, a liquid, become solid as they are heated, whereas, under the same conditions, solids melt. When meat is roasted, its surface browns and it acquires taste and texture. What accounts for these extraordinary transformations?" The answer: chemistry and physics. With clarity and wit, Herve This launches a wry investigation into the chemical art of cooking. Unraveling the science behind common culinary technique and practice, Herve This breaks food down to its molecular components and matches them to cooking's chemical reactions. He translates the complex processes of the oven into everyday knowledge for professional chefs and casual cooks; demystifies the meaning of taste and the making of flavor; describes the properties of liquids, salts, sugars, oils, and fats; and defines the principles of culinary practice, which endow food with sensual as well as nutritional value.

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Editorial Reviews

Albert Sonnenfeld

What Hervé This aims for is to use fairly high-powered yet accessible science not only to analyze what transpires in traditional cooking but also to adapt his unique brand of analysis to flavors, textures, colors, and more, therefore entering new realms of culinary epistemology.

Yum.fi

This is one of those books that could be great for holiday reading by the curious as well as being an essential part of academic study.

Choice

Another tour de force by a favorite polymath that will be valuable to all who love to cook and dine on good cooking... Highly recommended.

The Australian

For people with a (very) serious interest in food, this is satisfying stuff.

Choice

Another tour de force by a favorite polymath that will be valuable to all who love to cook and dine on good cooking... Highly recommended.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Hervé This is a physical chemist on the staff of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris. He is the author of Building a Meal: From Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism; Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking; and Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, among other books.

Jody Gladding is a poet who has translated more than twenty works from French.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Into the Mouth 1

1 Let Us Play with Our Senses 19

2 Health and Diet 41

3 What Are the Notes? 61

4 The Question of Hors d'oeuvres 75

5 Understanding, Perfecting 95

6 Without Forgetting All That Makes Life Beautiful 127

7 From Molecular Cuisine to Culinary Constructivism 157

A Last Bite for the Road 179

Glossary 183

Bibliography 191

Index 197

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