Thursday, December 16, 2004

My Kind of Science

My hero, Harold McGee, makes the science of cooking actually interesting in On Food and Cooking. I didn't realize it's been 20 years but can't wait to get the new edition and read all 878 pages!

The original explained in lay terms, with illustrations and whimsical anecdotes, why eggs solidify when heated, why green vegetables lose their vibrant color when cooked, why apples turn brown when cut, why the freshest fish smells like plant leaves and the science behind so many other food mysteries.

The new one does that and more.

The original was 684 pages; the new one is 878. The section on chocolate is three times longer than in the original book.

Seafood, which merited about one paragraph in the original, now spans 70 pages. And while the original was a bit Eurocentric, the new one is much more global.

"It used to be that when people had questions, I could just refer them to a page in the book. But the day came that I couldn't do that any more," says McGee, 53. "I had to address this new, greater demand for information."

Via Too Many Chefs.

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