This book answered many questions for me, and gave me the opportunity to discover previously unappreciated aspects of food and cooking, as well as the nuts and bolts mechanics of how food goes from raw ingredients to a great meal. I particularly enjoyed the way he divided the topics to correspond to preparation. I actually came away feeling like I could, and should, attempt some of the more advanced cooking techniques that he describes. Extremely well written and as entertaining as it is informative!
I would listen to "Cooked" again because there were so many metaphors about cooking and life that it was hard to put them all in order. It was very good to see how we are shaped by our culture reflected in our food.
If the section on bread doesn't make you want to go out and sample a good loaf of artisan bread or better yet to make you yearn to learn how to make it then something is wrong. While listening to this section I could almost smell the bread baking.
There was an ease to what he was saying.
I listened to it in two sittings, so that was close. It is that good.
Edit out the howlingly ignorant prononouncements from anthrolopology and quotes-from-the-classics
Too much fluff obscures his tales of adventures among the foodies.
His observations on how we eat are interesting the first time around, but can not withstand his hectoring repetitions
audio is the wrong format - this should be skimmed page by page, not audited from start to finish
Only Michael Pollan can take the idea of how we cook our food and make that most basic of activities relate to who we are and how we came to be human.
I was intrigued by the idea that we are the only animals who cook our food...and that may be what, in fact, what allowed our brains to get enough energy-dense meals fast enough to allow our energy-hog brains to develop. Fire also took us from solitary hunter/gatherers to social beings. The last chapter, about fermentation, was absolutely fascinating. What we have done to damage the microflora we need in our co-evolution with the microbial world is the information we need to make better decisions as a society.
I've never heard Michael Pollan read before, and, of course, he is the perfect voice for his words. He is a charming and engaging reader. (In a tiny comment, he do wish he say genu-in rather then genu-wine.)
I am an unabashed fan of this writer whose brilliance and intriguing topics touch all of us in such fundamental ways!
Say something about yourself!
Very thought provoking! Enjoyed his views and thoughts on modern day food culture, or lack there of. I already do most of my shopping at the farmers market and cook most meals. However, I will definitely be trying my hand at bread making after reading this book.
First off, I'm a total Michael Pollan fan. I first read "Food Rules" many years ago, which made so much sense that it became the springboard for my becoming vegan, a lifestyle that has lasted and lasted. Each and every one of his books has rekindled my commitment to stay away from processed foods and the other over-manufactured foods on the grocery shelves.
"Cooked" takes the next step. Pollan uses the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water) to show us the delights of home cooking and the benefits therein. While I don't eat meat, I still enjoyed his adventures thru barbeque and braising (without any desire to try the foods he cooked), but it was his adventures into bread baking and fermentation that really spurred my imagination.
Pollan, a polished and award winning writer, takes the under-recognized elements of food and nutrition and makes them mystical. For example, the intricate interplay of microbes used in bread baking become characters in the drama of the baked loaf. He has an understanding of the interrelationship between food and society that made me sit back and sigh. Yes, it's all so clear now.
This is a very special book ... a perfect companion to Michael Moss' "Salt Sugar Fat." We can turn the current health crisis around if we listen to these sages of food.
I could write more, but I need to go punch down the bread dough that is rising in the kitchen....
i real enjoyed how the book talk about how the food we eat comes in to being
I'm sure this book will be seriously enjoyed by many people, just not me. I've read a few other Michael Pollan books, and found them so interesting. This one seriously bored me -- I just could not continue reading. Just seems like so much bloated overthinking.
The style of writing, sliding from recounting the process of preparation into fascinating historical anecdotes, psychological theory and other titbits of information is so highly enjoyable I wanted to immediately go try sautéing onions properly. I've never cooked them for half an hour for anything other than onion soup, but now I'm going to try whenever I have time. And for a non-barbecue eater, I now want to try American barbecue.
The mix of anecdote, history and food preparation invokes the social import that cooking has traditionally had in my family. I love histories of things we consider "mundane" anyway, since quite often they are the key to larger explorations of history, and this is definitely one of the most enjoyable.
It made me want to chop onions. I think that's a fairly extreme reaction to a book. :)
Fans of Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” may be disappointed (as I was). “Cooked” contains ample material to justify the purchase of this book, but unfortunately the material is overwhelmed by fluff and repetition. Had an editor slashed about 50% of the text - the excess words between the information - I would have given this book 5 stars.