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What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel: Further Adventures in Kitchen Science (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 31. Mai 2005


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Pressestimmen

"...you will love this book-perfect reading for the room that can't be mentioned on the food and drink pages." Richard Erlich, The Guardian "...Robert L. Wolke, an American food columnist and chemistry professor, manages to make the mysteries of food science funny and accessible." Caroline Boucher, The Observer "...contains a fascinating and humorous explanation of 130 kitchen mysteries and phenomena." House & Garden "A fascinating, accessible insight into the science of cookery." Waitrose Food Illustrated

Synopsis

In this sequel to the best-selling What Einstein Told His Cook, he has added a new feature for curious cooks and budding scientists, "Sidebar Science", which details the chemical processes that underlie food and cooking. In the same plain language that made the first book a hit with both techies and foodies, Wolke combines the authority, clarity and wit of a renowned research scientist, writer and teacher. Also including 35 recipes by Marlene Parrish.

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Amazon.com: 26 Rezensionen
44 von 48 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Worthy Sucessor to the first book! 6. April 2005
Von Joshua Barratt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
As a big fan of the first book in this series, I was glad to see another one pop up and quickly put it on my wish list. I was also glad to see that it was even longer than volume 1, with an extra 110 pages. The style is great -- well paced, well laid out, with the 'harder' science very skimmable and yet approachable to non-chemists. I particularly like the way he challenges conventionally held assumptions by, in many cases, doing simple experiments that seem to answer things conclusively. The inlined recipes (by his wife, Marlene Parrish) look delicious and provide a nice break to the flow of questions. Some of my favorite answers:

Why does iced tea turn cloudy? Will coffee stay hotter if I put the cream in right away or only when I'm ready to drink it? Why are there sulfites in wine? How can I get a red wine stain out of a tablecloth? Why do onions really make me cry? Why are "sweet" onions sweet? When an banana ripes and gets sweeter, does it contain more calories? What is a free radical? What makes mashed potatoes gluey? How can I best match a pasta shape with a sauce? Does marinating work? (suprising!) What's the difference between browning and caramelizing? Why do we cook with wine?

And so on. If you like cooking and like knowing more about what's going on inside the pan and aren't afraid of a few polysyllabic words (mmmm, alpha-galactosidase... don't worry, they are defined in context) then grab this book. I couldn't put it down!
41 von 45 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Entertaining Foodie Read plus Superior Explanations. 15. Mai 2005
Von B. Marold - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
`What Einstein Told His Cook 2, The Sequel' by retired chemistry professor and columnist, Robert Wolke is in the same format as the first volume, of which I said:

"This book of what science can tell us about working with food. It is one answer to my wish that every TV chef who is attempting to teach cooking to us foodies take a two semester course in chemistry. The book is not a rigorous approach to the chemistry of sugars, salt, fats, chemical leavenings, heat, acids, bases, and the like. Rather, it is a collection of enhanced answers to questions posed to the author in a regular newspaper column. This makes the book more interesting to read, if a little less available as a resource to applying its teachings to new situations."

This statement is equally true of the second volume. And, I must believe Professor Wolke has read this comment in my review or elsewhere. In his introduction he recognizes that his little columns are all answers to specific questions; however, science, by its nature, is `all tied together' in theories which enable its predictive and explanatory powers. Thus, Wolke says that in order to explain the answer to two related questions, we may find him repeating himself now and then, as he does over and over when he invokes how proteins denature by unwinding themselves and wrapping themselves into tight knots, leading to, for example, cooked eggs or tough cooked meat. I have absolutely no problem with that within the context of his format of question and answer.

On the other hand, this format does not lend itself to be used as a source for looking up specific answers to questions that were not asked by the people writing into Dr. Wolke at the Washington Post. This is a small but real problem, made all the more frustrating because buried in the answers to some questions are some real gems of wisdom such as Table 5 on page 222 which gives the best kinds of sauces for various shapes of hard pasta. As good as the battalions of Italian cookbook writers are in covering their field, none of them has, to my recollection, put things quite so succinctly. This illustrates that genius in writing about cooking is not so much in what science you use, but in how well you present the answer. And, with a few small reservations, it is in this talent where Professor Wolke is a champion. While I may still vote for Alton Brown as my favorite TV foodie, Wolke has mastered the connection between Science, English, Food, and his audience.

One of my favorite examples of how Wolke successfully addresses an issue is on the matter of cutting onions and tears. For starters, he corrects Alton Brown's error in attributing the tearing to sulfur trioxide dissolving in the moisture in your eyes, thus creating a weak sulfuric acid solution. In fact, if any sulfur oxide gas is involved, it is much more likely to be sulfur dioxide which, when dissolved in water, creates the much weaker sulfurous acid. Wolke goes on to say that the phenomena is due to a number of different causes, which makes absolute sense, because if there were a single cause, then the chances of finding relief would be much higher. Wolke goes on to show the problems with all the various remedies. He and Alton agree on the importance of a sharp knife, although I use an extremely sharp Japanese vegetable knife when dicing onions, and I tear like a two-year-old on a jag. Sticking with onions, Wolke gives an excellent explanation of the French vintner's notion of `terroir' and how it relates to the lower bite of Vidalia onions. And, he correctly points out that it is fewer nasty compounds rather than more sugars which make the Vidalia and its cousins milder.

There are three general areas where Wolke could stand some improvement. While I was a journeyman chemist, I was an expert on linguistics and linguistic philosophy so, first, I find Wolke is occasionally a bit inconsistent in his use of works such as alkali (the opposite of acid). Early in the book, he says that alkali should be reserved for the extremely strong bases such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, yet I see him frequently using `alkali' for things that are just a tad over pH 7. The second quibble is that while science and the arts have long ago come to a détente and science and religion seem to be at an armed truce, Wolke constantly takes potshots at aspects of legal and political practice. It in incredibly easy for someone schooled in the doctrines of science to take pleasure at the apparent foibles of political practice, yet the people in the political world have problems of entirely different nature than either science or art, so cheap shots at food regulations, for example, are just that, cheap. The last problem I see is with Wolke's humor, especially in his little `Foodie's Fictionary' blurbs. I'm afraid I found not one of them very funny. Sorry. I think most of the humor in his main text is pretty basic and certainly welcome, but Alton Brown does not need to fear his position as the leading culinary class clown. The book would have been just a wee bit better with a good bibliography on food science references.

New in this sequel are sidebars on various scientific issues. Most of the really valuable reference stuff is in these sidebars. What you may wish to do is stick some of those cute little post it note tabs on the sidebarred pages and write a word describing the topic.

This is a really great book to take to your armchair and read from cover to cover. If you liked the first, you will definitely like this one as well or better. If you have read neither and you have an interest in food, buy both now!
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Very interesting, but not particularly useful. 31. Juli 2009
Von Tara G. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I found this book to be fun and interesting to read, but it wasn't very useful. I was hoping for something along the lines of "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee, but this book is actually more of an entertaining trivia book rather than having a lot of useful information that will help you become a better cook.

Yes, there is some useful information in the book. But it's not organized very well, so it's hard to find information about something specific. It's also not a comprehensive guide like "On Food and Cooking", it's just bits and pieces of trivia thrown together mostly haphazardly. The book is organized into sections, but the sections don't make it as easy to find specific information as they should.

I found this book to be relatively entertaining, but it wasn't what I hoped it would be at all. Buy this for purely entertainment value, but don't look at it as any type of culinary reference. You will learn some stuff, but probably not as much practical information as you would like.

I have both volumes of this set, and they are both similar in entertainment value versus usefulness.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An enjoyable read 15. Februar 2010
Von chunyukuo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Wolke has put together a well organized reference work. I come back to it often. Dividing each essay into general and more in-depth makes this all the easier to do.

I expected the verbose writing and lame humor of a scientist and got it in spades, so read this book for the insights and nothing else. As the inner flap promises, this book will make you a better shopper and eater. More valuable yet is the level of nuance and complexity Wolke brings to readers in a relatively digestable way. I like how Wolke dissects a lot of faddish and inaccurate thinking.

A very satisfying read. I highly recommend it to those curious about the things they eat.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
absolutely fascinating 16. Februar 2009
Von Ellen Goodman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is fascinating and well-written. It is a combination of insightful questions, comprehensive answers, recipes illustrating the points, and humorous food-related false "definitions" like a made-up food dictionary. If you have ever wondered what or why or how about anything food-related, like why does this happen when I mix these ingredients, or what is this stuff the recipe calls for, or how does marinade work, this is the book for you. It literally answers questions you never thought to ask. The author is a chemist with an interest in food, so at least in his spare time focuses on the chemistry of food. So he is knowledgeable and his love of the subject is obvious. He also knows who his audience is--food lovers and cooks who may not be scientists. This book is substantial with lots of short chapters so you get a lot for your money, with short attention span reading that covers a wide spectrum of subjects. I'm glad I stumbled upon it in the bargain section, I learned a great deal by reading it.
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