Reviews

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

brucehoward's review

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5.0

Fantastic reference for understanding how food works at a mechanical and chemical level. Not recommended to be read cover-to-cover in straight sequence. Found it most useful to read by sections using on going cooking or other books as inspiration for what parts to read. This is a the sort of reference that takes time and context to digest, and should not be rushed or read in a literary forced march.

i_will_papercut_a_bish's review

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5.0

This is the ultimate guide for everything you ever wanted to know about what makes great cooking great...on a chemical level! Fantastic read, and a must have for the curious mind.

alfyasmeen's review

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5.0

This is a MUST-OWN book for everyone and anyone who cooks. I read all of it just by having it on my nightstand. Absolutely great and indispensable.

wishanem's review

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3.0

Educational, with a combination of scientific, historical, and practical information about food and cooking. As its encyclopedic length might indicate, this book wasn’t really intended to be read sequentially cover to cover. However, doing that I found the extreme level of detail to be often dry and a bit challenging. For a more casual (or sensical) reader the book is helpfully arranged into subjects; it would be easy to jump to whatever subject one might find interesting.

taylakaye's review

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4.0

This is a great resource for any and all questions that you may have about ingredients. Explains how different foods are related, how different methods cook foods, so much more. And it isn't boring at all. Great to just pick up every so often and learn a thing or two.

thebookworm777's review against another edition

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5.0

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding why recipes work the way they do. After reading this book I feel more confident about experimenting in the kitchen and taking on more complex recipes in the future. There is so much to praise about this comprehensive, well-researched book, but some things which truly stood out to me include:

- McGee never moralizes food
- Reveals the surprising origins of some foods we strongly associate with specific countries contemporarily
- Looks at food from every angle: chemical, taste, aroma, linguistic, history, across different cultures
- Acknowledges multiple times the role of sugar in the Trans Atlantic slave trade and its contribution to the industrialization of European nations

rivkah's review against another edition

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I was forced to leave it behind in the Czech Republic.

tabbycat26's review

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5.0

If you have an interest in the more scientific side of cooking and how things work this is definitely a book for you. You definitely do not have to read the straight through you can read this in the chapters that interest you. However it is a great read even though it definitely took me some time period I highly recommend this book.

austen_to_zafon's review

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4.0

I loaned this book to somebody several years ago, couldn't remember who it was, and never got it back. Which is a shame because it's such a wonderful book! Now that I have a curious kid who loves cooking and wants to know things like why ice cream is a different texture than popsicles even if you make them with the same ingredients, I wish I had it back. I'm going to have to find a cheap used copy. This is the science & history behind food. He has a second book now and I want that one too!

alexisrt's review

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On Food And Cooking: The Science And Lore Of The Kitchen by Harold McGee (2006)