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Cooking, Gardening & Hobbies Booklists

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The Chemistry of Cooking

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Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
by Michael Pollan Details
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.
Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food
by Jeff Potter Details
More than just a cookbook, "Cooking for Geeks" applies your curiosity to discovery, inspiration, and invention in the kitchen. Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter provides answers to an array of kitchen queries and offers a unique take on recipes.
Culinary reactions : the everyday chemistry of cooking
by Simon (Simon Quellen) Field Details
"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 Details
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.
How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science
by Paula Figoni Details
The essence of baking is chemistry, and anyone who wants to be a master pastry chef must understand the principles and science that make baking work. Learn the whys and hows of every chemical reaction, essential ingredient, and technique.
Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen
by Alex Lewin Details
Preserve your favorite foods through every season with the process of fermentation. Control your own ingredients, techniques, and additives and learn everything you need to know about why the recipes work, why they are safe, what to do if they go wrong, and how to modify them to suit your taste
Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor
by Francois Chartier Details
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.
The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking
by Cesar Vega Details
Eating is a multi-sensory experience, yet chefs and scientists have only recently begun to anatomize food's components, introducing a new science called molecular gastronomy. In this global collaboration of essays, chefs, scientists, and cooks put the innovations of molecular gastronomy into practice.
The Science of Good Cooking: Master 50 Simple Concepts to Enjoy a Lifetime of Success in the Kitchen
by  America's Test Kitchen Details
The Science of Good Cooking breaks down why food cooks a certain way, and which techniques are best for what purpose. The book is organized into 50 concepts with recipes reinforcing each concept.
Umami : unlocking the secrets of the fifth taste
by Ole G. Mouritsen Details
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.
Updated 06/14/2015
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