Evening and Weekend Manager Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center Houston, TX 77060
This was a delightful Audible listen that answered many of those cooking questions that many of us have always wanted to ask, but knew no one with more than a folklore rationale. Wolke offers not only scientific explanations to why good cooking requires so many mystical steps, but explains them in terms that anyone can understand. At the same time, he does not trivialize the science or use explanations that make those of us with science backgrounds shudder at his analogies and metaphors because of banality. His prose is filled with clever repartee. Finally, Wolke is comprehensive and well organized in answering all kinds of questions related to foods, cooking, and kitchen craft.
I would compare this book to freakonomics. Although freakonomics has nothing to do with cooking, this book is similar in that the revelations will blow your mind. The author is fairly witty, and it completely held my attention while in the car.
Way better than I thought it was going to be.
This book is simply amazing. You would have to search on google for hours and read hundreds of other cook books to amass the amount of information in this 9 hour narration.
A word of caution: I am a Mechanical Engineer and found this book to be very technical for the average person. Although the author does lay most of the stuff out in layman's terms, he does get technical. Without prior knowledge of thermodynamics, chemical bonding, etc... I would have had a difficult time understanding the concepts.
Booklover since I was 7 yrs. old!
I certainly would! It's very interesting for almost all people that do some cooking or like food.
Cooking is chemistry and that's cool, but it can also remove som of the magic surrounding food and cooking!
When I started to listen the book I though it was going to be promising and actually I recommended it, After finishing the book I would prefer to recommend others on the same subject.
US readers are not the only listeners of this kind of books, Although there is an article regarding metric measurements all the book is about pounds, cups, degrees Fahrenheit, etc.The same is abut the regulation entities like FDA.
There is too much repetition of basic concepts and I did not see any relation or mention to the recipes in the pdf cookbook and the subjects in the different chapters.
Anyway I learned a few things form this books so I do not consider it a waist of credits.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Award winning chemistry professor Robert Wolke answers myriad questions on the subject of food and food preparation, all from the point of view of the science of where food comes from, how to best store it, how to cook it, etc. etc. His explanations are so good, they will more than pay back the price of buying this audiobook. For example, you will never again spend more for sea salt or a salt grinder than you will for a box of regular table salt, and you will understand why from a simple scientific point of view.
As you might expect from a non-fiction book that doesn't have a defined narrative flow (each section stands on its own), the best comes first. The opening sections on sugar, salt, and fat -- basic ingredients with significant health factors -- are outstanding. The middle sections on proteins, chemicals, and drinks are still excellent, but a bit scattershot in terms of relevance (do I really care if light cream is technically heavier than heavy cream or whether an egg can really fry on a hot sidewalk?).
The penultimate chapter on microwaves is essential and will change the way you use yours -- understanding how microwaves defrost frozen food vs. the alternatives will, once again, save you lots of money, or at least improve your culinary results. But the closing section seriously starts to sag, which is a shame since it focuses on kitchen tools -- still, it could save you serious bucks when it comes to buying tools since you will be that much more knowledgeable about what they do and what they can't do for you.
The lively narration helps. I look forward to reading the follow-up, although I worry that, like the last chapter of this volume, there will be a natural downtrend in interest level. My only other caveat is that, unlike another science book I recently listened to (Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Great Courses lectures on physics), it does seriously help to have a foundational understanding of some scientific principles in order to understand this book -- nothing more than high school level, though, which is the highest level of science I ever studied.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
This book does an excellent job in answering all the little questions and curiosities you may have about food, the kitchen, and the mysteries surrounding the preparation of foods for consumption. It is well researched and highly entertaining throughout.
Well researched, useful information for anyone that wants to cook. So much misinformation out there, that's nice to see someone that uses science to shed light on the truth.
I enjoyed the writers style. Then the Raiders voice is clear and easy to hear and his internation is perfect. I definitely feel smarter after listening to this book.
This book ultimately falls short of what I expected. First, in an attempt to make the subject matter more entertaining, the author incessantly uses word play, puns, and revised old sayings. It's distracting and childish. At best these instances are cliche and at worst, they are just plain annoying. The most interesting parts of the book are the experiments the author designed to test some old wives' tales. Aside from that, the material is just rehashed work from others that came before him. Very little material that would be new for even an intermediate chef.
Also, he claims to not be a "nutritionist" several times to avoid making judgments about certain eating choices, yet has no problem defending refined sugars and grains, and spouting conventional wisdom about the detriments of saturated fats and red meat. As new studies reveal the connection between sugar and all types of diseases and health disorders and fat continues to be exonerated in study after study, this book will fall further into irrelevance like manuals on the flat earth or using leeches to treat disease.