I don’t think he mentioned an oven even once….
… an odor in the kitchen is a symptom of odorant molecule loss (logically, kitchens should not smell good, because then we would be sure that the pleasing odors remained in the pots.)
–Hervé This, on page 154
Chapter 5 has had some of the most useful bits for the experimenting chef.
Oh, if only more of my cookbooks had fantastic sentences like this one:
Now the flow of a liquid in a canal varies as the fourth power of the diameter.
Then there’s this lovely statement, which is as applicable to jellies and consommés as it is to our political leaders:
Today, as heirs to the (political) ancien regime, we all want jellies, like bouillons and consommés, to be transparent.
I’ll note that chapter 4 has some interesting recipes as well as one or two long-term experiments which may be interesting to try.
This just keeps getting better and better! This isn’t the fluff on food writing that I supposed it might be based on its title which drastically undersells the overall work. This is a great writer, and the translation is generally excellent. It borders frequently on poetry in its descriptions while maintaining a heavy reliance on underlying science. It manages to maintain enough generality to keep a broad audience while still expounding on the science at play. It will eventually sit in a place of pride on my bookshelf on next to Harold McGee who is one of the few writing at this level.
This does an excellent job of debunking some commonly held misconceptions about food and cooking while simultaneously creating a new vocabulary to make future descriptions and work easier to grasp.
Somehow I had been under the misunderstanding that the author was a chef when in fact he is a physical chemist. And the translator is a poet by trade.
His poetry just keeps flowing. This is not only great food writing, this is really great science writing. The introduction has some interesting philosophy both of and on science.