The scientist in the kitchen tells us more about what makes our foods tick.This sequel to the best-selling What Einstein Told His Cook continues Bob Wolke's investigations into the science behind our foods―from the farm or factory to the market, and through the kitchen to the table. In response to ongoing questions from the readers of his nationally syndicated Washington Post column, "Food 101," Wolke continues to debunk misconceptions with reliable, commonsense answers. He has also added a new feature for curious cooks and budding scientists, "Sidebar Science," which details the chemical processes that underlie food and cooking. In the same plain language that made the first book a hit with both techies and foodies, Wolke combines the authority, clarity, and wit of a renowned research scientist, writer, and teacher. All those who cook, or for that matter go to the market and eat, will become wiser consumers, better cooks, and happier gastronomes for understanding their food. 20 illustrations
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Robert L. Wolke, a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, received his doctorate in chemistry from Cornell University. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife, noted food writer Marlene Parrish.
Marlene Parrish is a noted food writer. She is the author of several books and is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Food-science columnist Wolke returns with a further compilation of his ever-popular and instructive essays on the whys and wherefores of the foods we cook and eat. With verve and elan, he addresses a host of questions and issues that befuddle not just chefs but anyone who cares about the foods we ingest. How old are 1,000-year eggs? How can one cut onions without crying? What makes some mashed potatoes gluey? Why does split-pea soup turn into green cement? Are nitrites really harmful? Is buckwheat a type of wheat? How can I avoid buying adulterated scallops? What is miso? Wolke addresses all such questions with sound scientific information in his punning, idiosyncratic way, which is sure to provoke many a laugh. In sidebars he generates amusing definitions of food terms. Marlene Parrish offers recipes that complement the subjects of Wolke's essays. His too-brief disquisition on the accurate use of language in food writing ought to be required reading for both menu designers and aspiring food journalists. Mark Knoblauch
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