Back in a recent topic, old Brad couldn’t keep his two cents out of the conversation about why we rise, punch, rise. He recommended a book “On Food and Cooking” by Harold McGee. I found it to be quite reasonable ($25 for a new hardcover), so I ordered it. I’ve been reading it and reading it and reading it. Why wife isn’t sure who I am anymore. I don’t read books unless they’re about Microsoft Servers (pure geekdom). Well, this book is simply amazing. After just a few pages, I began thinking “Alton Brown is a hack” (because the book has a lot of content he covers on his shows), but then one day, I’m watching an episode of “Good Eats” and Alton is holding this very book (the first edition, not the one from 2004) and it very obviously has been well-used.
This book has really made me think about cooking, and learning more of the why behind cooking. There’s almost no actual recipes in the book (most are history related), but it’s about the ingredients, the chemistry, the flavors, and the “why”.
In fairness, this is the first book I’ve ever read about food. I’ve consulted cookbooks, but this isn’t a cookbook. I’d give it my highest review. Now I’m wanting to find a part-time job as a prep cook just so I can get lots of practice with knives and techniques. Unfortunately, “chain” restaurants are useless on training technique and skill.
So, Brad, thanks and curses, all at the same time :). Got any other books to recommend?