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On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen [Paperback]

Harold McGee
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 1997
An examinination of the science and lore of the kitchen.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 684 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (1 Feb 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684843285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684843285
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.6 x 4.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 758,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
What better subject for the first chapter than the food with which we all begin our lives? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I honestly wish I could rate this as 6 stars! 3 Sep 2001
By A Customer
I've had this book for quite a few years now and I still find it as suprising, fascinating, and wonderful as when I first bought it.
What do the origins of the word sycophant, hangover cures, the botany of the daisy family, the chemical structure of alkaloids and Maclolm X have in common? Yup, they all appear in this book!
As well as being a treasure trove of information on the history and science behind food, cooking techniques, ingredients, physiology and diet, it has also given me a greater apreciation of what I'm doing in the kitchen and why, e.g. now I apreciate what is going on on a molecular level when a sauce is being made, I've really improved the techniques that I use and as a result, make better sauces. This book may only have a few recipies included, and they are only there to show how cooking has changed through the ages, but this has been the most useful book on cooking that I've ever owned.
I think that this book has made me a better cook at the same time as being an interesting and entertaining read. It is to cooking as Brewers Dictonary of Phrase and Fable is to the English language.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book encompasses three of my great passions: History, Science & Food/Cooking. With a very scientific voice explaining the interactions of cooking at a molecular level, the author easily draws you in to any topic from pickeling to fermentation. You can open this book to any page and learn about the foods you enjoy and where they come from -- both historically and chemically. I love this book!!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential for the serious cook! 30 Jun 1999
By A Customer
I found Mr Mcgee's book to be a thoroughly entertaining and enlightening read. As a professional chef I was fascinated by the scientific explanations of processes I come across every day. I now use the book almost daily for reference and enjoy sharing the anecdotes with my staff. An excellent book!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book condenses volumes of useful and interesting knowledge into a very readable and understandable language. With the knowledge in this book, one could literally move from a casual cook to a professional. Rather than recipes, it tells why and when different processes work and/or do not work. It is science for the cook.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Plain Fun! 4 Dec 1998
By A Customer
I had to read excerpts from this book for one of my classes in college and every one was incredibly interesting. We read from several different books and periodicals, and this book was by far the most informative and easy to understand. It is filled with all kinds of cool facts that you never knew, but are just so fun to find out!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for anyone serious about food. 20 Feb 1998
By A Customer
I have been using this book ever since my college science professor introduced me to it in 1984. I bought it immediately. I have settled more arguments and started more conversations about food with this book. McGee makes other food writers look like alchemists!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive
This big, heavy book is one of those reference works that serious amateur and professional cooks alike should look at if they really want to get an understanding about the food... Read more
Published 14 months ago by I. Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars cooking knowledge
very good service all as described and delivery was brilliant.the book is a fantastic addition to anyone starting out on the cooking trail.
Published on 1 Mar 2012 by K.P IRISH.
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing book to browse through or dip into
well, i'm glad i bought this book on the recommendations of the other reviewers at amazon. mcgee explains the science of food and cooking in an astonishingly easy to understand... Read more
Published on 24 Jun 2004 by Hambletta-Maud
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Science Education for your Family
This book is about both science and food. Excellent tool for teaching yourself some science and engaging your kids in science exploration in your kitchen of your own home. Read more
Published on 15 Jun 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars Way too technical for the average cook!
This book is much more about science than cooking. The content is much more technical than most readers will desire (as with, the discussion of the molecular structure of milk in... Read more
Published on 5 Jan 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic guide to the scientific underpinnings of food
Awesome book; indisputably a classic. McGee explains the scientific underpinnings of every aspect of food and cooking. Read more
Published on 4 Jan 1998
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