Tuesday, May 14, 2013

food nerd book alert

I kind of love food. A lot. I am always, always up for trying new dishes and unusual foods. I am also lucky to be surrounded by some real foodies who have blown my mind with dining recommendations, ideas, and experiences (Seagrass, where The Husband proposed, and The Little Door stand out in my memory). 

My love of food and trying new things has finally helped me develop some cooking skills that were sorely lacking even a year ago. Cooking went from being a boring, frustrating process to a fascinating experience in combining flavors, textures, and marveling at the transformative properties of heat. Cooking became fun and fulfilling, and I wanted to learn more about it.

Years ago, I purchased a book for The Husband called On Food & Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen. It's basically a wonderful way to geek out about science and food simultaneously. Last night, I grabbed it off of our bookshelf and started browsing through it. The next thing I knew, it was past midnight and I was still on the couch reading...because holy crap I never even knew there was this much to say about anything, let alone food.

This book explains the scientific process behind many cooking procedures, as well the evolution and detailed explanations of various common foods. For example, his section on dairy covers the molecular makeup of cow's milk, the history of civilization drinking animal milk, the differences between raw and pasteurized milk, the implications of the industrial processes milk goes through to end up at the market....I could go on and on. Furthermore, the same section also contains helpful tips for getting perfectly foamed milk, the best way to store butter, and the history of ice cream. 

It was so fascinating to read. And I rarely even eat dairy. If you are a science nerd who loves food, or if you are married to a nerd who loves food, this book is a great little resource.

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