The book, maybe. I couldn't recommend this audio book. Here's the thing, and I feel REALLY bad for saying it, but it sounds like Sean Runnette is a stroke victim and his speech is impaired. Either that or someone dared him to narrate the whole thing with a marble in his mouth.
I couldn't get past the first chapter.
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.
The Q&A format of the book doesn't fit well the audiobook scene, but the topic is interesting enough and the curation properly scientific so that I recommend it anyway for a "cumulative" repeated listening: every time you will listen to it some of the interesting knowledge will sediment in your mind, making you progress on the path of food expertise although slowly.
The real sad aspect of the book is having put all the measures in Imperial system and then placing, towards the end of the book a chapter about how it makes proper cooking impossible.
This book is amazing. Talk about details of some I wish it went in more details but hey it's was a refresher course for me. This is a great book for every kind of chef new or old
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.