Top critical review
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Mostly interesting, although a little inconsistent
on 25 October 2013
It is a reasonably interesting read, with a number of explanations of the everyday occurrences that happen in the kitchen. You get explanations for various kitchen phenomena, such as why meat dries out and needs to rest, why red wine can turn blue when washing up, or an explanation of what makes a saturated fat.
The science isn't overwhelming, although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone without a reasonable recollection of school chemistry. The book does tend to confuse itself with a textbook at times. There are various, rather inconsequential, boxes that explain dry chemical concepts which are not particularly relevant to the text. The chapters are organised along chemical rather than culinary lines, which can make it feel a bit fragmented, and certainly more difficult to use as a reference for a particular cooking technique.
There is a wealth of practical information available within the pages, although the translations from theory to kitchen feel a bit half-hearted and grow scarcer as the book continues until its rather abrupt conclusion.
Overall there is enough interesting information within to make the book worth buying, but it could be a bit sharper, a bit thinner and a bit more consistent.