Help me find an old cooking book.
August 15, 2008 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a 35+ year-old text about the science and myriad other whys/wherefores/and hows behind all kinds of cooking endeavors.

Sometime in the late seventies/early eighties I came across a book at a friend's home that was a very readable text on cooking. This was sort of a simple science of cooking, i.e. what happens to various ingredients when they combine, when they are heated, when liquid is added, well as (I think??) some recipes, or at least information about what herbs/spices /various ingredients went with what sorts of foods or food combinations. It seemed like perhaps it was some sort of all-inclusive text on food preparation/understanding. I realize this is a pretty nebulous description, but if anyone knows of such a book, I'd love to find it...The salient feature was that the text was simple to understand and digest (pun??...surely you 'gest!) and was a wonderful underpinning for understanding what is happening to and with ingredients when preparing/cooking.
posted by mumstheword to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee?
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:45 PM on August 15, 2008

Failing finding your originally requested book (or in addition to it) Alton Brown's "Good Eats" cookbooks cover very much the same material and go into a lot of the science behind why food-stuffs do what they do when you cook them.
posted by Captain_Science at 2:56 PM on August 15, 2008

Kitchen Science by Howard Hillman? That link to the edition I have, there is a newer edition and I maybe a sequel ("More Kitchen Science" or somesuch).
posted by GuyZero at 3:32 PM on August 15, 2008

Tangent: Alton Brown's books have this same readability and scientific-ness.
posted by gjc at 4:18 PM on August 15, 2008

The McGee book linked by LobsterMitten, first published in 1984, is considered the classic in the field.
posted by dersins at 4:31 PM on August 15, 2008

Yes, On Food and Cooking.
posted by punkbitch at 6:58 PM on August 15, 2008

but its only 24+ years old... hmmm
posted by punkbitch at 7:03 PM on August 15, 2008

Response by poster: I apologize to all who contributed to this page of wonderful responses as I just realized I never responded to this and thanked you...I'm betting on the Harold McGee book that was mentioned several times...and of course anything by Alton all good! Again, thank you for the help!
posted by mumstheword at 7:05 PM on September 18, 2008

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