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On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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This is the revised and expanded second edition of a book that I first published in 1984, twenty long years ago. In 1984, canola oil and the computer mouse and compact discs were all novelties. So was the idea of inviting cooks to explore the biological and chemical insides of foods. It was a time when a book like this really needed an introduction!

Twenty years ago the worlds of science and cooking were neatly compartmentalized. There were the basic sciences, physics and chemistry and biology, delving deep into the nature of matter and life. There was food science, an applied science mainly concerned with understanding the materials and processes of industrial manufacturing. And there was the world of small-scale home and restaurant cooking, traditional crafts that had never attracted much scientific attention. Nor did they really need any. Cooks had been developing their own body of practical knowledge for thousands of years, and had plenty of reliable recipes to work with.


Contents o this book On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

Introduction: Cooking and Science, 1984
and 2004
Chapter 1 Milk and Dairy Products
Chapter 2 Eggs
Chapter 3 Meat
Chapter 4 Fish and Shellfish
Chapter 5 Edible Plants: An Introduction to Fruits and Vegetables, Herbs and Spices
Chapter 6 A Survey of Common Vegetables
Chapter 7 A Survey of Common Fruits
Chapter 8 Flavorings from Plants: Herbs and Spices, Tea and Coffee
Chapter 9 Seeds: Grains, Legumes, and Nuts
Chapter 10 Cereal Doughs and Batters: Bread, Cakes, Pastry, Pasta
Chapter 11 Sauces
Chapter 12 Sugars, Chocolate, and Confectionery
Chapter 13 Wine, Beer, and Distilled Spirits
Chapter 14 Cooking Methods and Utensil Materials
Chapter 15 The Four Basic Food Molecules
Appendix: A Chemistry Primer
Selected References

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