A chef is just a scientist in disguise
Exploring the scientific principles behind everyday recipes, this informative blend of lab book and cookbook reveals that cooks are actually chemists. Following or modifying recipes is shown to be an experiment with acids and bases, emulsions and suspensions, gels and foams. This easy-to-follow primer includes recipes that demonstrate the scientific concepts, such as Whipped Creamsicle Topping (a foam), Cherry Dream Cheese (a protein gel), and Lemonade with Chameleon Eggs (an acid indicator). Also included in this fun, fact-filled companion are answers to various culinary curiosities, such as How does altering the ratio of flour, sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and water affect how high bread rises? and Why is whipped cream made with nitrous oxide rather than the more common carbon dioxide?
“Full of charts, step-by-step photos, structural formulas, and amazing recipes (the cherry cream cheese has me drooling), you will become a better cook without even trying.” —MAKE Magazine
“This clear primer to the chemistry of cooking goes well beyond the basics to teach cooks how to improve their results scientifically.” —Science News
“The writing style is very personable and he does a great job of illustrating concepts with recipes.” —Smithsonianmag.com
“With information advanced enough to interest the well-seasoned, hard-boiled home cook, the information in this book is written in such a friendly and approachable manner that even beginner kitchen-chemists will be delighted to learn from it.”—San Francisco Book Review
“A gateway into the science of food.” —Gastronomica
“A wonderful new book that will be dear to the heart of many a geek, chemist, or true foodie.” —Cooking by the Book
Simon Quellen Field is the author of Gonzo Gizmos, The Return of Gonzo Gizmos, and Why There’s Antifreeze in Your Toothpaste. He is the creator of the popular website www.scitoys.com. He lives in Los Gatos, California.