Molecular Gastronomy : Exploring the Science of Flavor, Hardback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Herve This (pronounced "Teess") is an internationally renowned chemist, a popular French television personality, a bestselling cookbook author, a longtime collaborator with the famed French chef Pierre Gagnaire, and the only person to hold a doctorate in molecular gastronomy, a cutting-edge field he pioneered.

Bringing the instruments and experimental techniques of the laboratory into the kitchen, This uses recent research in the chemistry, physics, and biology of food to challenge traditional ideas about cooking and eating.

What he discovers will entertain, instruct, and intrigue cooks, gourmets, and scientists alike. Molecular Gastronomy, This's first work to appear in English, is filled with practical tips, provocative suggestions, and penetrating insights.

This begins by reexamining and debunking a variety of time-honored rules and dictums about cooking and presents new and improved ways of preparing a variety of dishes from quiches and quenelles to steak and hard-boiled eggs.

He goes on to discuss the physiology of flavor and explores how the brain perceives tastes, how chewing affects food, and how the tongue reacts to various stimuli. Examining the molecular properties of bread, ham, foie gras, and champagne, the book analyzes what happens as they are baked, cured, cooked, and chilled.

Looking to the future, Herve This imagines new cooking methods and proposes novel dishes.

A chocolate mousse without eggs? A flourless chocolate cake baked in the microwave? Molecular Gastronomy explains how to make them. This also shows us how to cook perfect French fries, why a souffle rises and falls, how long to cool champagne, when to season a steak, the right way to cook pasta, how the shape of a wine glass affects the taste of wine, why chocolate turns white, and how salt modifies tastes.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 392 pages, illustrations
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General cookery & recipes
  • ISBN: 9780231133128



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

An interesting and eclectic collection.

Review by

This English translation from the original French is the first to bring the writing of Herve This to the home cooks of America. This is not a cook book, nor is it a textbook. If you are looking for step by step instructions, look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for a thought provoking, enthusiastic discussion of the science behind cooking, this book is an excellent read. Each chapter is a stand alone discussion of the chemistry and physics of food and eating, though certain foods, such as mayonnaise, are returned to frequently.<u>Molecular Gastronomy</u> is not a quick read, but one to be savored. Having some college level chemistry under your belt may be helpful, as in some chapters This throws around complex chemical names, but it is not strictly necessary to understand most of the book. If you enjoy watching Alton Brown's <i>Good Eats</i> or are just looking for some new inspiration in your kitchen, this book is highly recommended.

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