We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Cooked Audiobook

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Fire, water, air, earth - our most trusted food expert recounts the story of his culinary education

In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements - fire, water, air, and earth - to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook.

Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan's effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse-trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius "fermentos" (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The listener learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships: with plants and animals, the soil, farmers, our history and culture, and, of course, the people our cooking nourishes and delights. Cooking, above all, connects us.

The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume huge quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2013 Michael Pollan (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

"Pollan narrates his book in a conversational style filled with conviction and eagerness that drive the listener to join his evolutionary quest." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1361 )
5 star
 (818)
4 star
 (393)
3 star
 (105)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
4.4 (1207 )
5 star
 (725)
4 star
 (323)
3 star
 (122)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (10)
Story
4.5 (1206 )
5 star
 (777)
4 star
 (297)
3 star
 (97)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    08-03-16
    08-03-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    "Test"

    gunfight flights unchecked insights including Genghis hcncngcbmcngcgnc enthusiastic including including including highlighting including in including including highlighting including including

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 08-02-16
    Josh 08-02-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love it!"

    Funny. Informative. Inspirational. Motivational. Makes you want to cook, make bread, brew beer. It's even better than the incredible Netflix series that's based on it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sazzy 07-25-16
    sazzy 07-25-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous"

    I really enjoyed this book. The study of cooking from historical, philosophical, scientific, and practical standpoints appealed to my magpie mind.
    Having Michael Pollan read his own words made feel less like narration and more like being told favorite stories over a visit.
    The book was great and has inspired me to explore cooking as an art rather than mere survival.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 07-15-16
    Melissa 07-15-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Food for thought"

    This has given me so much to think about and changed my perspective in a lot of ways. It was nice to be inspired to try to make new things instead of being lectured or scared into stopping eating or lifestyle habits. The Netflix series is great, but as always, the book was so much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pete 06-21-16
    Pete 06-21-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poetic"

    Transform the way you think about food and it's effects on individuals, families, and civilization.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Chapel 05-25-16
    Ryan Chapel 05-25-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great info and insight!"

    I had watched the 4-part Cooked series on Netflix before reading this. The book was (of course) way more detailed and contained quite a few parts not in the show. I highly recommend this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Hayward Bend, Or USA 05-25-16
    R. Hayward Bend, Or USA 05-25-16 Member Since 2015

    Bend Mom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Michael Pollan, as usual, does NOT disappoint!!"

    One of the most talented authors I've ever read, writes about food again. This time about cooking, what it means, and even specifically HOW to cook certain things. Loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 04-25-16
    Justin 04-25-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Recommend bridged version."

    struggled to finish. previously watched the doc which I enjoyed but made this feel long. good narration, minor playback glitches.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerome Robbins 04-04-16 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    73
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent production"

    Well researched, well written, well narrated. Interesting combination of history, science, and art. Don't miss this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Constance S Murray 03-31-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book!"

    Cooked is the poetry of all things food. Enchanting and a delight to listen to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.