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Building a Meal: From Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism

by Herve This Columbia University Press
Pub Date:
07/2011
ISBN:
9780231144674
Format:
Pbk 152 pages
Price:
AU$36.99 NZ$38.25
Product Status: In Stock Now
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An internationally renowned chemist, popular television personality, and bestselling author, Hervé This heads the first laboratory devoted to molecular gastronomy—the scientific exploration of cooking and eating. By testing recipes that have guided cooks for centuries, and the various dictums and maxims on which they depend, Hervé This unites the head with the hand in order to defend and transform culinary practice.

With this new book, Hervé This's scientific project enters an exciting new phase. Considering the preparation of six bistro favorites—hard-boiled egg with mayonnaise, simple consommé, leg of lamb with green beans, steak with French fries, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate mousse—he isolates the exact chemical properties that tickle our senses and stimulate our appetites. More important, he connects the mind and the stomach, identifying methods of culinary construction that appeal to our memories, intelligence, and creativity. By showing that the creation of a meal is as satisfying as its consumption, Herve This recalibrates the balance between food and our imaginations. The result is a revolutionary perspective that will tempt even the most casual cooks to greater flights of experimentation.

Preface
Introduction
The Complexity of the World
1. Hard-Boiled Egg with Mayonnaise
2. Simple Consomme
3. Leg of Lamb with Green Beans
4. Steak and French Fries
5. Lemon Meringue Pie
6. A New Kind of Chocolate Mousse
Looking Ahead
Note-by-Note Cooking
Reforming Education
Culinary Constructivism
Constructing a Menu
The Unending Conversation
Artisans and Artists
Index

For those who have heard the term 'molecular gastronomy' but don't really know what it entails, this is a highly recommended book that will serve as a great starter to a relatively new subject. For everyone else it is is just highly recommended.
Hervé This is a physical chemist on the staff of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris. He is the author of Kitchen Mysteries: Revealing the Science of Cooking and Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor, among other books.M. B. DeBevoise has translated almost thirty works from French and Italian in every branch of scholarship, including Hervé This's Molecular Gastronomy and The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought, edited by Lawrence D. Kritzman.