Synopses & Reviews
In a book widely hailed for its entertaining prose and provocative research, the award-winning Los Angeles Times
food journalist Russ Parsons examines the science behind ordinary cooking processes. Along the way he dispenses hundreds of tips and the reasons behind them, from why you should always begin cooking beans in cold water, to why you should salt meat before sautéing it, to why it's a waste of time to cook a Vidalia onion.
Filled with sharp-witted observations ("Frying has become synonymous with minimum-wage labor, yet hardly anyone will try it at home"), intriguing food trivia (fruit deprived of water just before harvest has superior flavor to fruit that is irrigated up to the last moment ), and recipes (from Oven-Steamed Salmon with Cucumber Salad to Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake), How to Read a French Fry contains all the ingredients you need to become a better cook.
"If you want to know why onions make you cry...or curious to find out why good cooks add old oil to new, this is the book for you. The recipes not only tell you the what, but also the why. I learned a lot." Ruth Reichl, editor in chief Gourmet magazine
"Parsons explains the science behind kitchen common sense, then illustrates it with recipes...[which] are some of the most appealing ever." Deborah Madison
"Parsons proves that the unexamined dish is far less rewarding than the meal we understand." Publishers Weekly
Widely singled out for its unique approach and witty, readable prose, How to Read a French Fry explores the fascinating science behind such ordinary cooking processes as mixing, frying, roasting, boiling, and baking. As he goes, the award-winning Los Angeles Times food journalist Russ Parsons slips in hundreds of cooking tips, provocative bits of trivia, and touches of humor that make his lucid explanations go down smoothly. The result is a book that "serves as an introduction to the high-level science" (Boston Globe) while "help ing home cooks hone their skills" (Bon Appetit). With more than 100 recipes, from Tuscan Potato Chips and Crispy-Skinned Salmon on Creamy Leeks to Chocolate Pots de Creme, this cookbook is "destined to be stained and dog-eared" (San Francisco Chronicle).
About the Author
RUSS PARSONS is the food and wine columnist of the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of the best-selling How to Read a French Fry, a winner of multiple James Beard Awards for his journalism, and the recipient of the IACP/Bert Greene Award for distinguished writing. He lives in California, which produces more than half of the fruits and vegetables grown in this country. He has been writing about food and agriculture for more than twenty years.