Molecular Gastronomy

Exploring the Science of Flavor
Narrated by: Dennis Holland
Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Home & Garden, Food & Wine
3.3 out of 5 stars (95 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This book will appeal to foodies and those who are deprived of cookbooks in audio format.

Molecular Gastronomy documents the sensory phenomena of eating and uses basic physics to put to bed many culinary myths. This audiobook presents pieces of conventional wisdom - such as whether it is better to make a stock by placing meat in already boiling water, or water before it is boiled - and gives its history before making scientific pronouncements.

Most of the discussions revolve around common practices and phenomenon: chilling wine, why spices are spicy, how to best cool a hot drink. This experimentation is not just for the mildly curious, but listeners unafraid to microwave mayonnaise will find many ideas here.

©2006 Columbia University Press (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Molecular Gastronomy

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Yawn

As a preface, I have not finished listening to this audiobook. It was absolutely NOT what I was looking for. I was expecing it to be mostly about food science, chemistry, how food works - and how those principles apply to cooking. This book is much heavier on history and florid prose. I put it down after a couple hours - too much a danger to driving.

It may be a good book for what it was intended for - but I say no thank you.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A collection of essays, really

If you do not know what a benzene ring is, you will not understand this book.
I was expecting more an orderly introduction to molecular gastronomy, starting from basic principles, then building into complex concepts. Instead, this book reads like a collection of unconnected and very scholarly essays. A lot of the chapters/essays are long and dry, while others have practical information you can use in the kitchen.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Technical but necessary

This may sound dry but I think the author was trying to explain chemistry concepts with precise yet succinct words. I am interested in biochemistry so this book is exactly what I look for. But those looking for popular science books, may be sorely disappointed with the density of the fascinating information.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

If you love science and you love cooking.....

this book is for you! Dennis Holland is the perfect narrator for the rather dry and repetative nature of conventional scientific study! I'm on my third listen....So cool to explain the development of tannins in wine and butter's crystaline structure...very insightful and opens you up to new ideas for developing stocks and additions to creme anglaise....more of a fun read if you are a science nerd I'm sure!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Sleeping Aid

I was very excited when I bought this book. I thought it would be very interesting, I love to cook and I love to know how things work. I found that the only thing this book was useful for was putting me to sleep!
Each chapter would start out with a great topic and useful information but then would turn to the history and scientific explainations where my science degree didn't even help me. I was so confused by the end of the chapter that I didn't even know what I had heard. I believe if you are French or a World Class Chef, you may understand it and enjoy it.
I thought that I was an intelligent person, but this book made me feel very dumb because I just couldn't understand most of it. If you are looking for a great book to listen to to put you to sleep, this is the one. I put it on quite often and the sound of the narrator's voice and the big words I didn't understand lulled me right to sleep!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Know or not know Chemistry

If you have studied Chemistry, five stars

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Bad Egg

Rambling -- disconnected-- boring and impossible to follow. What a disappointment!

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Too much technical/chemestry verbage

Impossible to follow even with a chemistry background, in part do to the read. It is clear he does not know what he is talking about either.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Science of Cooking

This is a Science book about cooking. Many reviews I’ve seen seem to judge it poorly because the reader expected a book about cooking that referenced science. I found it valuable in understanding many “whys” behind cooking and how I might modify or invent recipes.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of Great Culinary Science Detail

I can understand why many reviews said that this book was boring. But, for someone like myself, wanting to learn the science and chemistry of cooking, this is the best one on audible that I've found so far. I'm hoping to find more audible books like this that will list more culinary science, terms, etc.

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Profile Image for Chris Pedder
  • Chris Pedder
  • 11-20-16

Dull as Dishwater

What disappointed you about Molecular Gastronomy?

I find the subject of molecular gastronomy quite fascinating. Despite that, I found this book perhaps the dullest I have ever read on the subject. Poorly thought out and conceived, there is little logic in its presentation. Highly disappointing.