The Science of Food: An exploration of what we eat and how we cook by Marty Jopson

From TheBookbag
Jump to: navigation, search


The Science of Food: An exploration of what we eat and how we cook by Marty Jopson

Category: Cookery
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A look at the modern kitchen, how it developed and why, all told in language that even a science illiterate like me can understand.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: September 2017
Publisher: Michael O'Mara
ISBN: 978-1782438380

Share on: Delicious Digg Facebook Reddit Stumbleupon Follow us on Twitter



I've always believed that if you understood why something worked in a particular way it was very easy to remember how it worked and what you needed to do. The food we eat is no exception to this rule and The One Show resident scientist Marty Jopson has undertaken to explain how things work in the kitchen - and he covers everything from the type of knives we use through to the food of the future. Best of all, he does it in language that even a science illiterate like me can understand.

Knives might sound obvious, but having a really good, sharp knife can make a real difference to the way you cook - as I found out recently in a holiday cottage when what I really regretted not bringing with me was a knife sharpener. Jopson takes us through all the choices from his favourite Santoku to the ceramic knife - and then guides us through our choice of chopping baord. When we start to cook he tells us all about why temperature matters and for the first time I understood the importance of the Maillard reaction. You'll see why sou-vide cooking has grabbed the attention of today's chefs - and why it's not that practical in a domestic kitchen. He's quite a fan of the pressure cooker - and fascinating on its development. I think he's perhaps optimistic that every kitchen has an egg whisk, but I'm glad that I'm not using twigs to whisk egg whites as they did in the 16th and 17th centuries.

I'm not generally a fan of processed food although I'm not certain why when I think that's what I produce in my kitchen! Jopson's entertaining on the subject (I'll never think of Honey Monster Puffs in quite the same way again) and it was enlightening to see just how some foods are produced. I was less impressed when I realised that saccharin was discovered when a scientist failed to wash his hands after working in his laboratory and before eating!

You'll understand a great deal more about the dates on the food you buy and whether or not there's any truth in the adage that if food's only been on the floor for five seconds it's still fit to eat. I wasn't convinced though when he said that it's not possible to be a chocoholic - I'm sure that it's not my fault.

I've only touched on the surface of all that's in the book. It's a good, entertaining read and even after more than half a century of preparing meals I learned a great deal. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you're into coffee then How to Make Coffee: The Science Behind the Bean by Lani Kingston will help you to improve your brew. For more on using knives we can recommend Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual by Peter Hertzmann.

Buy The Science of Food: An exploration of what we eat and how we cook by Marty Jopson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Science of Food: An exploration of what we eat and how we cook by Marty Jopson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Science of Food: An exploration of what we eat and how we cook by Marty Jopson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Science of Food: An exploration of what we eat and how we cook by Marty Jopson at Amazon.com.


Comments

Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.