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The Science of Good Cooking

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I'm not much of a book reviewer, but once in a while I'll find a cookbook that stands above others so much that I'd feel bad not sharing it with others.  This weekend I received The Science of Good Cooking for my birthday, and let me just say, I'm going to be busy with it for quite some time.

The book is by Cook's Illustrated, which is a magazine produced by America's Test Kitchen.  As you may recall, these are the same folks who are responsible for writing my favorite cookbook: The New Best Recipe (a gift received last year).  As their name implies, staff at America's Test Kitchen test various recipes, equipment, and cooking methods as many times as needed until one succeeds in being the clear winner.  Although they've always taken the time to point out why various recipes work (and why some don't), this book delves even more into the science behind their research.

The book is divided into 50 different cooking concepts that cover any questions you might have.  In addition, they've managed to include 400 of their best recipes within the concepts.  Each chapter starts with a general cooking problem, goes into a full page about the science behind it, explains various experiments that ATK has carried out, and includes several recipes - each followed by a section called 'why this recipe works'.  You really couldn't ask for any more.

So with that, I've got some reading to do.

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