When people ask me what I like about my job, I never hesitate to answer, but I think the answer isn’t what people expect. I love being a chef, because I LOVE the science behind food and the preparation of food. The way yeast rises, or doesn’t rise, why meat retains it juice, or doesn’t, why cakes go flat, or don’t. Those things are what prod me on to try a recipe again, to see if I can figure out the flaws.
The book Molecular Gastronomy:Exploring the Science of Flavor by Herve This, helps to answer some of those questions as well as many more. On the shelf, it looks like an unimposing little book, but it is 300+ pages of information on things like making stock, the best way to roast beef, even the perfect way to make french fries.
The second section covers flavor and how we are effected by flavor in our brain, through taste, in cold foods, and as children. The information provided gives us amazing insite as to why people eat what they eat.
I bought this book 3 years ago, and it still sits on my nightstand. I don’t read it everynight, but I come back to it on a regular basis, when I have a cooking issue, or when I just need a little science back-up for a culinary question. If you like science too, check it out.
Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor
$11.21 on www.amazon.com