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On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

This book contains no recipes.

Notes about this book

  • gcottraux on January 29, 2010

    I love knowing the science behind what happens in cooking, and McGee makes it accessible to the layperson.

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  • ISBN 10 0684800012
  • ISBN 13 9780684800011
  • Published Nov 16 2004
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Scribner

Publishers Text

2005 James Beard Award Winner! - Reference

2005 IACP Award Winner - Food Reference/Technical Category!

The revised and updated twentieth anniversary edition of the classic On Food and Cooking--the book that singlehandedly created the food science genre, spawned a generation of imitators, and remains a bible for serious home cooks, food writers, and professional chefs.


Two decades ago, On Food and Cooking was hailed as a minor masterpiece by Time magazine. Now, Harold McGee offers an updated edition--featuring ninety percent new material--addressing the culinary mechanics, mysteries, and rends of the past twenty years.


In this accessible, compelling combination of chemistry, history, folklore, literary anecdotes, health information, kitchen tips, and recipes, McGee explains the science behind ingredients and cooking techniques. Compulsively readable and engaging, this updated edition covers every angle of how we grow, harvest, cook, smell, taste, eat, and digest. From cutting-edge changes in food production and diet to age-old kitchen mysteries, McGee provides fascinating facts and insights on countless topics, including:

  • The enormous array of substitute sweeteners
  • How to determine the quality of ice cream by its weight
  • Why flipping meat on the grill every minute or less creates moistness
  • Why toxins in plants are what makes them taste so good.


A must-have for every serious cook, On Food and Cooking is the book that began what The Wall Street Journal recently dubbed molecular gastronomy, referring to McGee as the guru who's written some of the best known books on the subject.



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