Hervé This’ molecule Gastronomy: exploring the science of flavor is a landmark book in the cook arts. Mine “perfect eggs,” and plenty of other revelations around how foodstuffs ‘are,’ the I have discovered, began with the science in this book.

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This is a an excellent storyteller, for a scientist, but, buyer beware: This transformative journey right into the atoms and molecules of your food that puts the physics right into pâté as huge of an epiphany as it have the right to be, is as dry a check out as a poorly make Scottish scone.


Hervé This is no this legendary innovator. Rather, he’s her wonky, nerdy French guide to the research, greatly in France, into the science of food that yields explorations that can assist you in your residence kitchen as much as it services the large corporates that crank the end boxed, and packaged, foods.

If friend think about it, food, at the bottom line, is like everything else in the recognized universe: that is made up of atoms, that form molecules, that form the cell that end up being the bits of this and also that that ultimately come to be the food that you cook. Thankfully, monsieur This is much an ext eloquent in his clinical narrative than I am.

So, if we can understand the raw materials, native the atom up, as it were, us should be able to push previous the stuff that has largely to be a an enig of every little thing that grandma that did fundamentally functioned because, well, grandma didn’t screw things up. Often, we “luck” into a recipe because we did every little thing right. Expertise the science clears that haphazard method of succeeding, and also builds a the majority of culinary confidence in your expertise of just how to master a wide variety of foods.

Even if did you do it been cooking to the point that you’ve earned her granny merit badge, you deserve to learn some transformative things about your food preparation from this book.

Let’s take eggs. Many of the civilization eats them, and also even the finest grannies in the human being overcook them. Professor This explains that 68°c / 154°F is the ideal point where heat allows the egg to cook without overcooking. It allows the egg’s protein to chef into chains the lock in the steam, maintaining the egg an ext moist, much less rubbery, and also lighter. If her eggs come out so rubbery that you could bag them, and also sell them in ~ a new store next to the rubber chickens, then you should heed this little bit of science.

This is Professor This at his best. Several of his topics can be a very bone-dry check out for those without your Ph.D in physics.


The problem with the book is the language. No, not French, his indigenous tongue. That more than likely would have helped. It’s the an extremely clinical reporting of the job-related at this or the French research facility that wanders off right into that clubby room of readers who are already part of the “club.” scientific research geeking. If you love chemistry in high school, he is your kind of writer.

Thoughts on how vinegar evolves, or how warm affects the cellular frameworks of meat are both amazing and informative. His deep dives right into small, nuanced facets of the science, praising the researchers of this or that agency pushing ~ above the borders of food science, can get really deeply right into the weeds, and also probably well above many readers’ interest level.

There space a pair of part on using chemistry that, if friend can number out exactly how to interpret them into products easily accessible to you, aid you know flavor, and how the mind perceives it.

For those of united state who analyze that science into an ext teachable moment in home kitchens, if you deserve to brave your way through the pundit husks, the gold cooking expertise within is invaluable.

When life gives you bones, make stock!


So many authors, and also chefs, pro and amateur, have actually “discovered” this book, and have discover outward right into what has been dubbed molecular gastronomy. If a slow-moving read, the payoff, in regards to what you have the right to do v your food, is well worth the web page chew.

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While it do the check out a little bit slower, together I need to put that down and read in little chunks, the points that I have learned native it have actually so transformed my understanding of what ns cook, and of exactly how to go around cooking that to honor the “stuff” native which the is made, I have to give it a huge recommend.