Recently I picked up a new book called Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food.
I've been cooking for years, and yet I don't really understand why things happen. Harold McGee's awesome tome On Food and Cooking provides answers to specific questions I've had, but it's a reference book. I haven't been able to just sit and read my way through.
That's why I was thrilled to find this addition to the world of food and science. It's chatty, funny, and easy to read, with clear, detailed scientific explanations, along with recipes to illustrate that science. The book was just published a few weeks ago, and the first printing already sold out.
Want to hear my conversation with Jeff? Listen to the interview I conducted with him at his kitchen in Cambridge, which aired on Scientific American's weekly podcast.
Let me know what you think. Will knowing more about why things happen - such as why baking goods at specific temperatures will give you a toasty, browned exterior, and baking sweets at a lower temperature won't - will that help you decide what to do? Or would you rather just read and follow a recipe?