Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
by Michael Pollan
In Cooked, Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements--fire, water, air, and earth--to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink.
Culinary reactions : the everyday chemistry of cooking
by Simon (Simon Quellen) Field
"When you're cooking, you're a chemist! Every time you follow or modify a recipe you are experimenting with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. In your kitchen you denature proteins, crystallize compounds, react enzymes with substrates, and nurture desired microbial life while suppressing harmful microbes. And unlike in a laboratory, you can eat your experiments to verify your hypotheses. In Culinary Reactions, author Simon Field explores the chemistry behind the recipes you follow every day. How does altering the ratio of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and water affect how high bread rises? Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide rather than the more common carbon dioxide? And why does Hollandaise sauce call for "clarified" butter? This easy-to-follow primer even includes recipes to demonstrate the concepts being discussed, including Whipped Creamsicle Topping (a foam), Cherry Dream Cheese (a protein gel), and Lemonade with Chameleon Eggs (an acid indicator). It even shows you how to extract DNA from a Halloween pumpkin. You'll never look at your graduated cylinders, Bunsen burners, and beakers -- er, measuring cups, stovetop burners, and mixing bowls -- the same way again"
Good eats 3 : the later years
by 1962- Brown
Television celebrity Alton Brown packs a bounty of information and entertainment between the covers of his new book devoted to everything from pomegranates to pretzels, mincemeat to molasses. Features delicious recipes along with fascinating background.
Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor
by Francois Chartier
Chartier has dedicated over twenty years of passionate research to the molecular relationships between wines and foods. This is the first book to present his findings, and approaches the subject of food-and-wine pairing from a molecular level. By looking at the flavor compounds inherent in some of our favorite foods and wines, Chartier has identified the keys to successfully pairing the ideal foods and wines together.
Umami : unlocking the secrets of the fifth taste
by Ole G. Mouritsen
In the West, we have identified only four basic tastes -- sour, sweet, salty, and bitter -- that, through skillful combination and technique, create delicious foods. Yet in many parts of East Asia over the past century, an additional flavor has entered the culinary lexicon: umami, a fifth taste impression that is savory, complex, and wholly distinct.
Combining culinary history with recent research into the chemistry, preparation, nutrition, and culture of food, Mouritsen and Styrbæk encapsulate what we know to date about the concept of umami, from ancient times to today. Umami can be found in soup stocks, meat dishes, air-dried ham, shellfish, aged cheeses, mushrooms, and ripe tomatoes, and it can enhance other taste substances to produce a transformative gustatory experience. Researchers have also discovered which substances in foodstuffs bring out umami, a breakthrough that allows any casual cook to prepare delicious and more nutritious meals with less fat, salt, and sugar. The implications of harnessing umami are both sensuous and social, enabling us to become more intimate with the subtleties of human taste while making better food choices for ourselves and our families.