Top critical review
For example alongside the flour conversation was a conversation about how to test for bad eggs and how to estimate the calories
Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2017
While this book is informative, and scientifically accurate, it is completely disorganized. The author will ask a question such as why do we sift flour, then go off on a tangent about why you should weight eggs, just to come back and say sifting flour isn't all that important anymore. Additionally, the topics covered in a single chapter often are not all that related. For example alongside the flour conversation was a conversation about how to test for bad eggs and how to estimate the calories in the meal.
However, there is still some great science in this book. In between explaining things such as the difference between egg foam and fat foam, the author would outline topics like how to read an organic molecule diagram. This definitely has it’s pro’s and con’s. For me as a soon to be Chemical Engineering graduate, it’s great, it keeps me intrigued by talking shop about chemistry. To the average reader without a STEM degree, it might be a little overwhelming, verging on completely useless.
The never ending stream of science facts kind of take away from this book being about food. The author does go into great detail into many things that it would be helpful to know in the kitchen. However he often does not tie an idea back to cooking after he has fleshed it out. For example the chapter on fats and oils did not really leave me with many cooking tricks but much more knowledgeable about the organic structure of different types of fats. The fact that it doesn't exactly cover the science well enough and isn’t really a cookbook makes it difficult to see what this author was going for or what he wanted the reader to get out of it. It does also concern me that people with less knowledge in chemistry are potentially learning some of the more difficult parts of chemistry through a cookbook.
For those of you with a science background looking for a textbook to tell you what's happening in the kitchen, this book is for you. You will relearn many of the topics you cover in organic and general chemistry, in the context of cooking. However if you are a science novice looking for advanced cooking techniques you seem to be out of luck. Additionally, I wish it covered more of the health effects of food, and how different foods affect our bodies. This seems like a great venue for that kind of information and I was left disappointed it was missing.
A side note, I read this book on kindle, and did not at all like the formating. The pages really felt like a wall of text and there were not nearly enough diagrams of some of the organic chemistry lessons. An inclusion of more visual aids would definetly help a lot of readers understand some of the chemistry better.