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Building a Meal: From Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)by Herve This
Synopses & Reviews
An internationally renowned chemist, popular television personality, and bestselling author, HervA(c) This heads the first laboratory devoted to molecular gastronomy& mdash;the scientific exploration of cooking and eating. By the testing recipes that have guided cooks for centuries, and the various dictums and maxims on which they depend, HervA(c) This unites the head with the hand in order to defend and transform culinary practice.
With this new book, HervA(c) This's scientific project enters an exciting new phase. Considering the preparation of six bistro favorites& mdash;hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise, simple consommA(c), leg of lamb with green beans, steak with French fries, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate mousse& mdash;he isolates the exact chemical properties that tickle our senses and stimulate our appetites. More important, he connects the mind and the stomach, identifying methods of culinary construction that appeal to our memories, intelligence, and creativity. By showing that the creation of a meal is as satisfying as its consumption, Herve This recalibrates the balance between food and our imaginations. The result is a revolutionary perspective that will tempt even the most casual cooks to greater flights of experimentation.
"French chemist This, co-creator (with fellow scientist Nicholas Kurti) of the kitchen science discipline known as molecular gastronomy, offers readers a window into his world through this wide-ranging, deeply engaging scientific deconstruction of classic dishes. Those hoping to find recipes for concoctions like wasabi foam or celery 'caviar' will be disappointed; This dismisses such cuisine as parlor tricks for foodies. Instead, he examines what he calls 'culinary dictums,' such as adding salt to water when boiling eggs or starting a stock with cold water, using science to confirm, disprove or update common kitchen wisdom. Beginning with the humble hard-boiled egg, This explains food concepts thoroughly but plainly-among them why creamy sauces 'break,' the proper time to salt a steak, and the importance of soaking sliced potatoes in water before French frying them. This's tour is frequently fascinating, and his digressions on a host of topics (from cooking trends to proper mayonnaise-beating etiquette to noted French mathematician Blaise Pascal) lend charm and warmth. For anyone expecting a clinical approach buttressed by equations and formulas, the biggest surprise isn't This's dedication to good old flavor, but his insistence that love is a cook's most important ingredient." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
By showing that the creation of a meal is as satisfying as its consumption, This recalibrates the balance between food and the imagination. The result is a revolutionary perspective that tempts even the most casual cooks to greater flights of experimentation.
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Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature