An international celebrity and founder of molecular gastronomy,
or the scientific investigation of culinary practice, Hervé This is
known for his ground-breaking research into the chemistry and
physics behind everyday cooking. His work is consulted widely by
amateur cooks and professional chefs and has changed the way food
is approached and prepared all over the world.
In Kitchen Mysteries, Herve This offers a second
helping of his world-renowned insight into the science of cooking,
answering such fundamental questions as what causes vegetables to
change color when cooked and how to keep a soufflé from falling. He
illuminates abstract concepts with practical advice and concrete
examples-for instance, how sautéing in butter chemically alters the
molecules of mushrooms-so that cooks of every stripe can thoroughly
comprehend the scientific principles of food.
Kitchen Mysteries begins with a brief overview of
molecular gastronomy and the importance of understanding the
physiology of taste. A successful meal depends as much on a cook's
skilled orchestration of taste, odors, colors, consistencies, and
other sensations as on the delicate balance of ingredients. Hervé
then dives into the main course, discussing the science behind many
meals' basic components: eggs, milk, bread, sugar, fruit, yogurt,
alcohol, and cheese, among other items. He also unravels the
mystery of tenderizing enzymes and gelatins and the preparation of
soups and stews, salads and sauces, sorbet, cakes, and pastries.
Hervé explores the effects of boiling, steaming, braising,
roasting, deep-frying, sautéing, grilling, salting, and
microwaving, and devotes a chapter to kitchen utensils,
recommending the best way to refurbish silverware and use
By sharing the empirical principles chefs have valued for
generations, Hervé This adds another dimension to the suggestions
of cookbook authors. He shows how to adapt recipes to available
ingredients and how to modify proposed methods to the utensils at
hand. His revelations make difficult recipes easier to attempt and
allow for even more creativity and experimentation. Promising to
answer your most compelling kitchen questions, Hervé This continues
to make the complex science of food digestible to the cook.
Subjects: General Science
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